National Administration of Aeronautics and Space (NASA) was launched today successfully an Antares rocket on a scientific and refueling mission to the International Space Station (ISS), from the Atlantic Regional Space Gate of Wallops, in east Virginia.
The rocket, from the company Northrup Grumman, with the Cygnus freighter, took off at 4:01 AM local time (09:01 GMT) which illuminated the sky in the middle of the night. This is the ninth successful launch since the Antares program started on Wallops 2013.
Cygnus is scheduled to arrive at ISS on Monday at 05:20 local time (10:20 GMT), and then two astronauts from the International Space Station will use the station's robot arm to catch Cygnus.
The launch was scheduled for Thursday morning but was delayed due to bad weather.
The unmanned Cygnus ship delivers nearly four tonnes of food, equipment and research materials. One of the scientific experiments on board will investigate how the universe was formed from stardust; while another pathology of Parkinson's disease.
Another is about sustainable manufacturing and repair of plastic materials in long space assignments.
The experiments also include the introduction of a new technology that allows the melt and reuse of the plastic to reduce both the amount of material in the station and the amount of spare parts that must be returned, increase efficiency and save money.
Another experiment will analyze how muscle tissue develops in space, a project by Michael J. Fox Foundation on a protein closely associated with the development of Parkinson's disease.