Cygnus Space Freighter to Dock With International Space Station

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The Cygnus space freighter aboard the two-stage Antares rocket.
  • BBC News
  • The Cygnus space freighter aboard the two-stage Antares rocket.

The Cygnus space freighter, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, launched aboard an Antares Rocket this morning from the Wallops Spaceport in Virginia.

That makes OSC the second private company, along with SpaceX, to contract with NASA to resupply its space missions.

Cygnus' next step is to reach 240 kilometers above the Earth, where it will enter a synchronous orbit with the International Space Station, dock and unload its cargo—some 1,500 pounds of food and equipment—Monday, Sept. 23.

NASA's contract with OSC is worth $1.9 billion for eight trips to the ISS.