Rocket launch reignites space station deliveries in Virginia

Orbital Sciences Antares Launch
This Tuesday Oct 28, 2014 photo provided by NASA shows the Orbital Antares rocket, after it suffered a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft was filled with supplies slated for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – One of NASA’s main delivery companies has launched its first space station shipment from Virginia in two years.

Orbital ATK’s unmanned Antares rocket blasted off Monday night from Wallops Island. It was the first flight of an Antares since a launch explosion on Oct. 28, 2014, that wrecked the pad and destroyed everything on the space station supply run. For the long-awaited comeback, the pad underwent a $15 million face-lift, and the rocket got new Russian engines.

The launch provided a show for sky gazers along much of the East Coast.

The cargo ship, named Cygnus after the swan constellation, will have to hang around in orbit until Sunday before making the 5,000-pound delivery. That will give three astronauts time to launch from Kazakhstan and get to the station.

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