Space Station Shipment Launch A Success From Wallops Island - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Space Station Shipment Launch A Success From Wallops Island

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WALLOPS ISLAND, VA. (AP/WBOC) - The Antares rocket launch at Wallops Island was a success Wednesday afternoon.

Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket blasted off Wednesday from Wallops Island. The company's Cygnus capsule should arrive at the International Space Station Friday, just in time for Easter.

While there's no Easter ham or lamb, NASA says plenty of generic holiday fixings are going up for the space station's six residents, including smoked turkey, pork chops, asparagus and cobbler. Altogether, 800 meals are tucked away.

The 7,600-pound (3,450-kilogram) load also includes three free-flying robots to be tested as astronaut helpers, 40 black lab mice and 63 tiny student-research satellites.

Those mice boarded the Cygnus spacecraft with an important mission. NASA is calling them "mounstronauts." They're being used to better understand the impact of spaceflight on antibody production and immune memory. Scientists say the mouse immune system closely parallels that of humans, making them an ideal choice for the mission.

Many people gathered to watch the launch, some parking along Chincoteague road about a half mile or more on both sides to make their way down to the visitors center. Some people we spoke to after the launch said not only did they love it, they're coming back for more launches in the future.

"I just retired and this is a bucket list kind of thing - first time" Bob Bristow of Wilmington, DE, said. "We’ve seen it from afar, from as far as Wilmington, looked for it many many times, but unfortunately couldn’t see it any other time but this time.”

Another delivery should be coming by month's end.

NASA's other commercial shipper, SpaceX, is due to launch a shipment from Florida on April 26.

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