Spacecraft loaded with supplies successfully launches from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Saturday afternoon

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- It was the perfect Saturday afternoon, with clear skies and sunshine, for Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft to make its first launch of this year.

Successfully, the spacecraft was launched on the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and is headed to the international space station.

“This is just our continuation for NASA for having a continued present in space and learning a little bit more about space and obviously improving life here on earth,” Keith Koehler
News Chief of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, said.

Koehler said the aircraft is loaded with around 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware.

“We have to get them food, we have to get them new clothes and also of course we are taking experiments up, that will support understanding of continuing to live life in space,” Koehler said.

Koehlor said one of the experiments being taken to the space station will help them understand muscle strength in space, since astronauts can experience muscle weakening in micro gravity.

“We have some worms that are going up, we’re going to be looking at the muscle tones of these worms, and how that relates to humans,” Koehler said.

Another, experiment going up will help to study the advantages of making artificial retinas in space.

“We are also doing experiments on retinas for folks here on earth using micro gravity and developing systems that will help improve I guess retinas for humans that would need replacements,” Koehler said.

While this was the first launch of 2021, we are told there are many more launches people can look forward to this year.

” It’s a truly busy year, this is just the first launch to kick things off but we have about one launch at least a month for the rest of the year,” Koehler said.

The Cygnus spacecraft will arrive at the international space station Monday around 4:40 a.m.

You can learn more about how to watch the spacecraft’s arrival at ww.nasa.gov

Categories: Local News, Virginia