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US Cargo Rocket Ready for Florida Launch

Atlas V
Posted at 7:00 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 07:07:04-05

Cape Canaveral, Fl (WTXL) --  Florida will be the stage for the first International Space Station resupply mission from US soil since a failure back in June.

Orbital ATK, under contract from NASA, is scheduled to launch more than 7500 pounds of supplies to the ISS. The Cygnus spacecraft will launch aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:55pm on the mission called OA-4.

Orbital ATK’s last launch attempt in October 2014 ended ten seconds after liftoff when an engine problem caused the rocket to explode destroying the unmanned cargo vehicle it was carrying. That launch out of Virginia was aboard the company-made Antares rocket.

That rocket is still undergoing testing, leading to the company purchasing an Atlas V, moving the launch site to Florida.

SpaceX, another private company contracted by NASA, had their rocket fail back in June. Since then, the International Space Station has been primarily getting its supplies from Russian rockets.

Despite these setbacks, NASA and Orbital ATK continue to look forward to tomorrow’s launch and aren’t worried about another failure.

“We tend not to be melodramatic about those things,” Orbital ATK Space Systems President Frank Culbertson said. “We’re focused on this launch here. If we have to deal with a contingency we will but we’re very focused on this mission and getting the cargo to the space station, we’re very optimistic.”

The Cygnus will bring food, water, and spare parts to the six member crew aboard the space station, including NASA astronaut Mark Kelly who is nearing the end of a year-long mission.

Weather is currently 60% go for launch.