The resupply mission is a public-private partnership between NASA and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
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. Diller is retiring after 36 years.
Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-7 resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 April 18 at 11:11a.m. EDT. The launch scheduled for Thursday will deliver the new crew to the station in about six hours after liftoff.
After the launch, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana asked Diller what he thought of his last launch.
Cabana hailed Diller for his outstanding commentary during his carrier.
"We're really, really going to miss hearing your golden voice", Cabana said.
Numerous experiments are led by students from more than 23 countries around the world, according to NASA.
Glenn, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Glenn passed away December 8, 2016.
And for the first time, cameras will provide live 360-degree video of a rocket heading toward space.
A four fisheye-lens cameras was located at the periphery of the launch pad, about 300 feet from the rocket. "Nearby, a computer protected by a blast-proof box will stitch images together in near-real time".
The liftoff can be watched on NASA's official YouTube channel.
The launch of the cargo ship has been delayed several times over the past month due to hydraulic leaks on the rocket booster and ground support equipment. ULA has resolved the issue, NASA said.
The cargo resupply mission launched Tuesday kicked off a busy period of traffic for the International Space Station.
Three space station crew members, Sergey Ryzhikov, Andrey Borisenko and Shane Kimbroug, returned to Earth Monday in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
According to the US space agency NASA, the new experiments include an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment and an advanced plant habitat for studying plant physiology and growth of fresh food in space. At 11:33 a.m., NASA confirmed Cygnus had successfully separated from the rocket and was flying solo.