Antares rocket sends cargo ship into orbit

Antares liftoff
Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket lifts off from a Virginia launch pad. (Orbital ATK Photo / Thom Baur)

Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket today sent a Cygnus cargo spacecraft on the first step of its journey to the International Space Station with 7,400 pounds of supplies and experiments, including a nanosatellite that its backers say will become the first “space nation.”

The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is roughly the size of a loaf of bread, is the product of an effort organized by Russian scientist Igor Ashurbeyli. It’ll store thousands of files uploaded by online fans who have signed up as Asgardia’s “citizens.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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