ISS gets its first US shipment after several months
On Wednesday, the International Space Station (ISS) received its first US shipments after several months. The Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship carried along with it more than 7,000 pounds (3,000 kilograms) of water, food and supplies for global astronauts.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren using the space station’s big robotic arm grabbed the capsule and its 3 ½ tons of cargo. The operation went smoothly, NASA Mission control reported.
The supply ship Cygnus was launched into orbit on Sunday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA's commercial shipper, Orbital ATK, used another company's rocket for the launch.
Orbital supply runs had been on hold ever since a launch explosion last year. The other US supplier, SpaceX, has also not made a delivery to ISS since April because of a launch accident.
Orbital flight controllers, based at company headquarters in Dulles, Virginia, very extremely happy as the Cygnus made contact with the space station Wednesday morning.
NASA has been paying bulks of money to SpaceX and Orbital to make deliveries to the ISS. Orbital's next scheduled flight is in March, for which it will again use another company's Atlas V rocket. SpaceX, on the other hand said that it is planning to resume shipments in January with its own Falcon rocket.
Grabbing the cargo safely using robot arm was Lindgren's last big job at the space station. He is all set to return to Earth on Friday, along with a Russian and Japanese, following a five-month mission.
Two of the six-man crew including space station commander Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will stay back at the space station.
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