Orbital ATK one of NASA's prime delivery services for the space station, along with SpaceX normally uses its own Virginia-based Antares rockets to launch its Cygnus cargo ships, named after the swan constellation.
When a resupply rocket takes off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., today, viewers at home will be able to experience the launch like they were right on the launch pad.
"Liftoff of the Atlas V rocket with Cygnus and the S.S. John Glenn, extending the research legacy for living and working in space", said United States space agency commentator George Diller. Live Broadcast: The Live broadcast will begin at 10 a.m. EDT. t will begin at 10 a.m. EDT. "We will review today's 360º setup and endeavor to bring this new perspective of a rocket launch to everyone in the future".
Tuesday's successful launch followed a month's delay while United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co, resolved a technical issue with the rocket's hydraulic system.
A camera on the rocket's Centaur second stage captures the Atlas 5's first stage falling back to Earth moments after separation.
The hydrogen-fueled Aerojet Rocketdyne engine powering the Centaur second stage then flashed to life and burned for almost 14 minutes to complete the climb to a 142-mile-high roughly circular orbit tilted 51.6 degrees to the equator, the same as the space station's. "Looks like we nailed the orbit again". 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.
In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in space.
The launch is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 11:11 a.m.
Roscosmos is set to launch new crew members, Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Jack Fischeron, on April 20 to the Space Station.
"The researchers are kind of scratching their heads at that", space station associate scientist Tara Ruttley said during a press conference on Monday. In addition, NASA launched an Advanced Plant Habitat for plant-growth studies to be carried out on the ISS.
The capsule also carries 38 shoebox-sized satellites and a high school student's science project that will test how telomeres, which are structures at the ends of chromosomes, are affected by microgravity.
Normally it takes two to three days for cargo vehicles to meet up with the ISS, but the Cygnus is actually going to hang out in orbit for a little while once it launches.