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NASA Livestreams 360-Degree View Of Rocket Launch

20 April 2017, 05:22 | Bernard Bryant



NASA awarded Orbital ATK and SpaceX commercial resupply services contracts, under which each company is to deliver at least 20 metric tons of cargo to the space station. "It looks like we nailed the orbit once again".

The 191-foot (58-meter) Atlas V lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:11 a.m. EDT (1511 GMT), blazing through partly cloudy skies as it headed out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Following a 21-minute ascent, the S.S. John Glenn was successfully deployed into its intended orbit. Orbital ATK's engineering team confirmed that reliable communications have been established and that the vehicle's solar arrays are fully deployed, providing the necessary electrical power to operate the spacecraft. The spacecraft will remain at the space station until July before its destructive reentry into Earth's atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash. As for what the S. S. John Glenn is carrying, the Cygnus OA-7 has 3,459 kg of cargo including supplies for the crew, science experiments, systems hardware, and spacewalk equipment.

Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin is getting ready for his fifth mission to the space station on Thursday.

S.S. John Glenn will also conduct three secondary OA-7 missions after the spacecraft leaves the space station, including the initiation of the Saffire-III payload experiment created to study the behavior of fire in microgravity as well as the deployment of four cubesats intended for weather monitoring and ship tracking. Data from this experiment will be downloaded via telemetry to researchers on the ground.

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The flight was loaded and preparing to leave Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Sunday when the man was dragged off. Dao only started to get mildly upset when the second officer came on the plane after he continued to refuse to leave.

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No passengers on the plane have mentioned that Dao did anything but refuse to leave the plane when he was ordered to do so. David Dao, whom security officers dragged by his hands, on his back, from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

"While in space, after traveling a safe distance from the station, the fire is lit and data is collected before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere", NASA said in a statement. This specific experiment will also test the performance of different heat shield materials that may be used on future US space missions. Cygnus consists of a common Service Module (SM) and a Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM). Orbital ATK assembled and tested the SM at its Dulles, Virginia, satellite manufacturing facility, and incorporated in the SM systems from Orbital ATK's LEOStar and GEOStar satellite product lines.

Cygnus is a low-risk design incorporating elements drawn from Orbital ATK and its partners' existing, flight-proven spacecraft technologies. Orbital ATK is a private sector company that operates the cargo ship and has a contract with NASA to transport supplies and cargo to the global space station.

Vern Thorp, the program manager for commercial missions at the ULA, stated that this configuration has become the "Atlas V workhorse", as it has launched approximately half of the Atlas V missions up until now.

This is the fourth flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the third using the Atlas V launch system.

It was Orbital's seventh operational resupply launch under an initial $1.9 billion contract from NASA calling for eight flights through 2016.

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