U.S. Orbital launches second cargo mission to space station

WASHINGTON, July 14 (PNA/Xinhua) — An unmanned spacecraft operated by commercial U.S. space company Orbital Sciences Corp. blasted off Sunday for its second cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA TV showed.

The spacecraft was launched atop the company’s Antares rocket at 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT) from the U.S. space agency NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.

“Orb2 liftoff!” Orbital tweeted, “Go #Antares! Go #Cygnus!!”

The ship was filled with about 3,300 pounds (1.5 metric tons) of science investigations, food, supplies and hardware for the ISS and its crew. Also onboard are 32 tiny satellites known as CubeSats that are designed to take images of Earth, hardware for Japan’s JAXA Space Agency and numerous student science experiments.

If all goes well, Cygnus is expected to rendezvous and berth with the ISS Wednesday. (PNA/Xinhua)