Spacecraft headed to ISS named in honor of John Glenn

Orbital ATK christens Cygnus capsule S.S. John Glenn

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – In its final stages of encapsulation, nearly four tons of supplies bound for the International Space Station will fly in tribute to the man who conquered both space and time.

The company that owns the Cygnus spacecrafts, Orbital ATK, announced Thursday that it's naming the brand-new capsule the S.S. John Glenn.

It will be the first spacecraft to fly in memory of the first American to orbit the Earth.

"One of the most amazing people that you would ever want to meet. He was my hero as a 9-year-old child," fellow Astronaut Hall of Fame member Brian Duffy said about Glenn, who died in December.

Duffy, now works for Orbital ATK, and Thursday his company revealed a new launch date for the upcoming mission.

The Glenn spacecraft is scheduled for liftoff on March 19 on an United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

An Orbital ATK spokesperson said that the new spacecraft is refrigerated to preserve everything going to the space station.

News 6 went inside the clean room Thursday where the spacecraft is being prepared for its launch.

"I think it just enhances how much science we can bring to the ISS," Frank DeMauro, with Orbital ATK, said. "It's another step and improvement that we're trying to make on Cygnus to make it as science-friendly for NASA as possible."

"It's very exciting," NASA engineer Holly Vavrin said. "It's always exciting to see hardware and to see everything come together."

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