Through commonality of hardware and other economics of scale, Orbital ATK's proposed launch system will also reduce the cost of other U.S. Government rocket and missile programs managed by the Air Force, Navy, NASA and Missile Defense Agency, saving taxpayers up to $600 million on those programs over a 10 year period.
Tuesday's launch marked the first time NASA, in coordination with the ULA and Orbital ATK, has broadcast a rocket launch with a 360-degree view, which should "virtually place the public at the based of the rocket during launch".
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.
Thales Alenia Space is a major contributor to the International Space Station (ISS), responsible for over half of its pressurized volume, and played a major role on the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) cargo vessels for ESA and on NASA's Cygnus program, which will also bring supplies to the ISS.
The capsule is dedicated to former Astronaut and Senator John Glenn who died last fall.
Scheduled to reach the ISS by 22 April, the latest flight was Orbital ATK's seventh cargo delivery mission to the station.
In microgravity, cancer cells grow in 3-D, spheroid structures that closely resemble their form in the human body, enabling better tests for drug the efficacy.
The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) investigation originally was operated successfully aboard the station in 2002. "It could be helping a company get a new communications capability up there". Investigations such as the CLYC Crystal Growth experiment will be conducted in the SUBSA Furnace and inserts. Another important cargo item is the RED-Data 2 data recorder used to gather data on how the space capsule will break up upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists, so far, have been unable to monitor those conditions on a large scale, and a better understanding could lead to more accurate spacecraft breakup predictions, better spacecraft designs, and materials capable of better resisting the extreme heat and pressure during the return to Earth.
"The more research we can carry, the more they can do their job and the more they can show the utility of the International Space Station".