A private spaceship carrying goods to the International Space Station will be the platform for testing a new Canadian technology.
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sunday soar up the Cygnus spacecraft for assignation with the ISS on Wednesday.
Originally scheduled for a 1:40 p.m. launch on Friday, July 11, the launch was later delayed because more time to complete pre-launch preparations was required by the technicians.
As a part of a $1.9-billion NASA contract, Cygnus and the Antares rocket are developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation to deliver eight shipments to the station. The first one was sent in January and this is the second flight.
Frank Culbertson, an executive vice president at Orbital Sciences and former astronaut said,”It’s like Christmas in July”.
Resembling a bright light in the early afternoon sky, observers from North Carolina to New Jersey still had a chance of seeing the rising Antares rocket inspite of daylight and clouds limited visibility.
About 1,500 kilograms of supplies and science experiments which includes the piece of Canadian technology, was on board Cygnus.
Cygnus will be guided into its dock at the station by a system developed by Ottawa-based Neptec Design Group.
As they test out the Neptec system, another guidance system TriDAR automated and rendezvous docking sensor will be used to back up Cygnus. It is planned that Cygnus will carry two systems on future missions, if the TriDAR system works.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst exclaimed via Twitter, “Humans are explorers!”.