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Space station supplies launch from Virginia, 2nd cargo shipment in 2 days

Florida Hospital research on board Cygnus space capsule

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, is seen above the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, on Nov. 17, 2018. (Image: NASA)
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, is seen above the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, on Nov. 17, 2018. (Image: NASA)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. –  A rocket blasted off early Saturday morning from Virginia with supplies for the International Space Station, the second shipment in two days.

Northrop Grumman launched its Antares rocket from Wallops Island before dawn Saturday. The Russian Space Agency launched its own load of supplies to the International Space Station on Friday, just 15 hours earlier, marking the first launch since a Russian rocket failed last month midlaunch causing an emergency abort of two astronauts.

The U.S. delivery will arrive at the orbiting lab Monday, a day after the Russian shipment. Among the 7,400 pounds (3,350 kilograms) of goods inside the Cygnus capsule are ice cream and fresh fruit for the three space station residents and a 3D printer that recycles old plastic into new parts.

The spacecraft is also carrying a Florida Hospital-led study with muscle cells from eight Central Floridians. The data from the cells will help researchers take a closer look at the effects of microgravity and aging on muscles.

The cells will spend seven days on the space station under microgravity inside a "lab on a chip" and then be frozen before coming back to Earth on a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule in January.

This Cygnus is named the S.S. John Young to honor the legendary astronaut who walked on the moon and commanded the first space shuttle flight. He died in January.


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