Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at space station

Tomas Mccoy
April 24, 2017

American astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin were boosted into Earth's orbit on Thursday for their planned five-month stay on the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

This panoramic shot of the aurora Australis also shows space shuttle Atlantis, the boom sensor system attached to the shuttle's robotic arm, and a portion of the International Space Station's (ISS) solar panels. "The more than three tons of pressurized cargo in the Cygnus spacecraft will be put to good use to continue our mission of research, exploration and discovery".

Orbital ATK, a commercial cargo provider for NASA, said it is prepared to launch two additional cargo missions this year.

"We're very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn". They will join the like of NASA's Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who arrived at the outpost in November past year.

The decision to use the White House call to the ISS to excite young Americans about the space frontier, coheres with President Trump's earlier speech promoting NASA and evoking Kennedy's space program.

NASA officials stated that Peggy Whitson would set a new record on Monday, April 24, for most cumulative days spent in cosmos. After her ninth spacewalk, she will move up to No. 3 in the world, behind cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev and former astronaut Mike Lopez-Alegria. She also became the first female commander astronaut from NASA, performing eight spacewalks in her entire career.

With the Cygnus in grasp, flight controllers at NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston will take over from Pesquet and Whitson and to guide the spacecraft to a berthing on the Earth-facing port of the space station's Unity module, where it will remain attached for the next 85 days.

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