Northrop Grumman on Saturday launched the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a mission to deliver 7,400 pounds of NASA‘s scientific equipment and crew supplies to the International Space Station.
The company said Saturday its vehicle, nicknamed S.S. John Young, lifted off at 4:01 a.m. Eastern time from the Wallops Flight Facility’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A in Virginia aboard the medium-class Antares rocket.
Cygnus reached orbit after a nine-minute ascent and Northrop’s team of engineers confirmed communications systems were operational inside the spacecraft.
The vehicle also deployed its solar arrays built to generate the electricity to power its travel.
NASA and Northrop expect the spacecraft to berth with space station at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time Monday.
In a separate announcement, the agency said the cargo delivery mission will support research on space recycling and fabrication, formation of the early solar system and pathology of Parkinson's disease.