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Space Station shipment launched from Virginia

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A commercial cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday, carrying food, science samples and new odor-resistant gym clothes for the resident crew.

Orbital Sciences Corp. launched its Cygnus capsule from the Virginia coast, its third space station delivery for NASA.

"It's like Christmas in July," said Frank Culbertson, an executive vice president at Orbital Sciences and former astronaut.

Daylight and clouds limited visibility, but observers from North Carolina to New Jersey still had a shot at seeing the rising Antares rocket. It resembled a bright light in the early afternoon sky.

Its destination, the space station, was soaring 260 miles above Australia when the Cygnus took flight. The unmanned capsule should arrive there Wednesday.

This newest Cygnus contains more than 3,000 pounds of supplies, much of it food. Also on board: mini-satellites, science samples, equipment and experimental exercise clothes. NASA said the new type of clothing is resistant to bacteria and odor buildup. So the astronauts won't smell as much during their two hours of daily workout in orbit and they'll require fewer clothing changes.

NASA is paying for the delivery service. The space agency hired two companies - the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences and California's SpaceX - to keep the space station well stocked once the shuttle program ended. The international partners also make shipments; the European Space Agency, for example, will launch its final supply ship in 1½ weeks from French Guiana.

This particular Cygnus delivery was delayed a few months by various problems, including additional engine inspections and, most recently, bad weather at the Wallops Island launch site. The delays added to the tension for NASA's human exploration chief, Bill Gerstenmaier. He said he breathed a sigh of relief at liftoff given all the critical equipment on board, not to mention all the meals.

The Cygnus will remain at the space station for about a month. It will be filled with trash and cut loose for a fiery re-entry. Unlike the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Cygnus is not built to return safely to Earth.

Saturday, meanwhile, marked the 5,000th day of continuous human habitation at the 260-mile-high outpost. Six men currently are on board, representing the United States, Russia and Germany.

"Humans are explorers!" German astronaut Alexander Gerst said via Twitter.

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Elizabeth July 13 2014 at 7:26 PM

My horse lives near there. Oddly, while he is afraid of dirt, grass moving in the wind, parked tractors (moving ones are fine), seagulls and who knows what else, the rocket launches don't bother him at all.

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3 replies
hotelsierraone July 14 2014 at 9:26 AM

No mention of the FACT that, under the last few Administrations, the United States has gone from Number One in the field of space exploration to somewhere in a battle for Third Place, after Russia and China (who have sent several moon probes). The U.S. no longer has tthe capability to do anything more then launch cargo into low earth orbit. Very sad what the expense of supporting 15,000,000 Illegal Aliens with money, food, housing, medical and education (and the expense of busing them all to illegally vote) can do to a country's ecconomy.

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mtrazzeli July 14 2014 at 5:00 AM

just the newest way to fleece american taxpayers for billions of dollars in the interests of wall street."private" contractors are just that.keeping the bottom line budget "private" from concerned watchdog groups.same game different name.to believe for one second that we could ever achieve mass exodus to another planet or galaxy in this lifetime would be ludicrous at best.planet earth is in need of some serious maintenance to include population control and rejuvenation of natural resources.if there's no food left to eat or air to breathe,anything else is just window dressing for a few cockroaches scurrying around looking for their next meal.take all that space program money and clean up the earth.feed the people.purge the criminals.educate the next generation in a mindset to put doing the right thing over making corporate greed the bottom line.wake up people or hope that a cataclysmic event slows this earth down enough to wake everybody up in the biggest way.

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3 replies
crowland503 July 13 2014 at 10:44 PM

How much different the world might be if private industry had started the commercial space race as Heinlein, Clarke, Bradbury, and Asimov dreamt of...A world written in the very fabric of the American way! Man landing on the moon in 1954; and Mars by 1962! ...Then we would have to argue with a silly Robot about the correct recipe to make lemon cake in July 2014, Wait until the time travel...

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v7howkloosh crowland503 July 14 2014 at 7:53 AM

time travel is already being done. wake up son bradbury was no visionary some of us humans have done things you sadly cannot even fathom. And weve done it with mind.

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John crowland503 July 14 2014 at 12:39 PM

If left to private industry; we NEVER could have walked on the moon! Private industry just sucks allotted funding into inflated
contracts for some suppliers/builders; and HUGE ceo's bonuses! Private industry now has its greedy hands dipping into the funds still left by a dying, once proud, NASA! Already these vulture companies are refusing to disclose cost/spending figures! Because of the current and previous Presidents not stemming the tide of illegal immigrants, and still carrying on foreign, profitable, wars, the first colony on the Moon will probably be Chinese! What a great disservice some American politicians have done to this once great country!

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ds3inc July 14 2014 at 1:44 AM

Love it, man I miss our space program.

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Mike July 14 2014 at 11:31 AM

If only it took all of Virginia with it!

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churich1948 July 13 2014 at 8:46 PM

If Cygnus is such a safety hazard, blow it out of the sky over North Korea. That'll clean the "Fat Mans" clock.

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alfredschrader July 14 2014 at 9:26 AM

For those interested the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is fueled-up with liquid oxygen on the launchpad richt now. Lift off is set for 11:15 am EST today.

The lox vapors are vented right off the vehicle but in years past the lox vapors were vented some distance from the vehicle. Oren, my friends said one of the security gaurds drove his unit over to investigate the lox cloud venting from the pipe and his patrol unit ignited so the other security gaurd jumped into his unit and rushed over their, then his unit ignited. Great security, but definitely not rocket scientists.

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1 reply
alfredschrader alfredschrader July 14 2014 at 9:30 AM


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hwlndrbrt July 14 2014 at 9:52 AM

Can one imagine crowds looking up to the sky at the brilliant light, and the return of Jesus? Just sayin'. . . .

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hotelsierraone July 14 2014 at 9:18 AM

First line QUOTE:

"A commercial cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday"

... now whose staff wrote this sentance? Who proof read this? Who should stick to covering Justin Bieber?


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