Cygnus cargo ship launched to space station

Antares launch
Orbital ATK’s Antares rocked rises from its Virginia launch pad, sending a robotic Cygnus cargo ship into space. (NASA Photo / Audrey Gemignani)

Orbital ATK sent its robotic Cygnus cargo spaceship on its way to the International Space Station today, loaded up with more than 7,200 pounds of supplies, equipment and science experiments.

The two-stage Antares rocket rose from its launch pad from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 4:44 a.m. ET (1:44 a.m. PT), lighting up the predawn sky for observers across a wide swath of the mid-Atlantic coast.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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