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NASA shows first 360-degree video of rocket launch
20 April 2017, 06:28 | Bernard Bryant
NASA via Getty Images
For this mission, Cygnus is carrying a variety of essential items including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts, laboratory equipment and scientific experiments. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will conduct a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA's CRS-2 contract. Something went wrong moments before liftoff, and the video skipped over the actual rising of the rocket from the pad. Anyone using a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone had access to the 360-degree view, along with the ability to manipulate the video, altering the perspective to place themselves close to the rocket as it lifted off, launch commentator George Diller said.
"It's great, I mean, to be able to get in there and experience that 360-degree view", said Vern Thorp, a program manager for rocket maker United Launch Alliance, ahead of the launch. Its cargo includes a greenhouse that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is testing to grow food for astronauts on long missions. The SM is assembled and tested at Orbital ATK's Dulles, Virginia, satellite manufacturing facility and incorporates systems from Orbital ATK's flight-proven LEOStar™ and GEOStar™ satellite product lines.
Three minutes later, the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship, named in honor of John Glenn, the first American in orbit, was released from the Centaur to fly on its own. Also, a tribute banner featuring a picture of John Glenn is aboard the capsule. In addition, NASA launched an Advanced Plant Habitat for plant-growth studies to be carried out on the ISS. These will be deployed in the next several months.
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However, given that the Cygnus spacecraft and its cargo was only 15,928 pounds (7,225 kilograms) going to low-Earth orbit, the vehicle was more than up to the task. So the Cygnus will stay out of the way until the incoming crew is safely onboard the ISS. The experiment will help scientists understand space-based flammability and test sensors created to detect gases. It's due there Saturday, two days after the arrival of two fresh astronauts.
That's because a special 360-degree camera has been installed near the base of the Atlas V rocket en route to the International Space Station.
A workhorse Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Tuesday and boosted an Orbital ATK cargo ship into space carrying more than 7,600 pounds of supplies, equipment and research hardware bound for the International Space Station.
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