Antares rocket launches NASA cargo to Space Station in dazzling predawn liftoff

By Tariq Malik
November 19, 2018, 11:29:44 AM EST

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket lit up the predawn sky over Virginia Saturday (Nov. 17) to launch a privately built Cygnus spaceship filled with NASA supplies (and even some ice cream) to the International Space Station.

The Antares rocket soared into the clear, chilly skies over Virginia's Eastern Shore carrying an uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft filled with tons of science experiments, food and other vital supplies for the space station's crew. Liftoff occurred at 4:01 a.m. EST (0901 GMT) from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport here at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility after two days of delay due to bad weather.

"What an outstanding launch," said Joel Montalbano, NASA's deputy station program manager, after the dazzling liftoff. Cygnus is now on track for an arrival at the station on Monday (Nov. 19), he added.


The Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo spacecraft toward the International Space Station continues its first stage burn during liftoff. Credit: NASA TV

There's about 7,400 lbs. (3,400 kilograms) for the station's three-person Expedition 57 crew packed aboard the Cygnus spacecraft. That includes fresh fruit and ice cream, a welcome treat for the astronauts, Montalbano said before launch.

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