Astronauts unload 1.5 tons of trash into space

Capsule will burn up over Pacific Ocean

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer
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It takes more than six hours to fly from New York to London, but now, in slightly less time, astronauts can go from Earth to the International Space Station.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The International Space Station just got a lot tidier.

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A pair of NASA astronauts released a capsule loaded with 1.5 tons of trash Friday. The spacecraft should re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific on Saturday.

NASA supplier Orbital ATK launched the capsule to the space station in December, full of food, clothes and other goods. The astronauts removed the precious contents, then filled it with garbage for incineration.

Commander Scott Kelly and Timothy Kopra, the two Americans on board, sent computer commands to set the Cygnus free.

Orbital ATK plans to launch another Cygnus from Cape Canaveral late next month. The flight was delayed a few weeks after black mold contaminated some of the cargo bags. Technicians had to disinfect everything.

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