Sweet treats on space flight to astronauts

AP
A stash of frozen treats and other supplies on Sunday rocketed towards the International Space Station, this time from Virginia's cold eastern shore.
AP
AFP

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A, on November 12, 2017, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

A stash of frozen treats and other supplies on Sunday rocketed towards the International Space Station, this time from Virginia’s cold eastern shore.

NASA’s commercial shipper, Orbital ATK, launched the cargo ship just after sunrise from Wallops Island, aboard an unmanned Antares rocket.

The Cygnus capsule should reach the orbiting lab tomorrow. It is loaded with 3.35 tons of cargo, including sweet treats for the six station astronauts. There are frozen fruit bars, ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches and cups of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, according to NASA.

This marked Orbital ATK’s first launch from its home turf in more than a year. The last time it made a space station delivery, it used another company’s rocket flying from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Crowds gathered at Wallops in freezing weather and cheered as the rocket soared towards the southeast. Sunrise made it hard to see the launch further afield. The field of visibility stretched from New England to the Carolinas.

A launch attempt on Saturday was cancelled after an aircraft strayed into the restricted airspace. On Sunday’s attempt was almost foiled by a couple of boats that briefly wandered into the restricted zone.

Orbital ATK named the capsule after the last man to walk on the moon, Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan, who died in January. A launch controller on Sunday paid tribute to Cernan.

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