NASA sends spacecraft into orbit Saturday with supplies for Space Station crews

NASA launches spacecraft Saturday

WATTSVILLE, Va. (KOLD News 13) - NASA launched a rocket boosting a cargo ship into orbit Saturday, carrying more than 8,000 pounds of supplies and equipment for the International Space Station.

The launch took place after midday at NASA’s flight facility in Virginia.

Along with research materials, spare parts and other equipment, the Cygnus spacecraft will bring fresh food to crew members. The primary goal is to deliver science equipment and supplies for on-going research utilizing the microgravity environment aboard the space station.

One experiment will use small worms to learn more about how astronauts’ muscles lose strength in the absence of gravity, while anothers explore better ways to make retinal implants that could help people with degenerative vision disorders retain or improve their eyesight.

An advanced computer capable of faster processing and data compression will be tested and equipment to upgrade the station’s urine recycling system, will be installed.

Also on board, new radiation detectors that will be used on future missions to the moon.

The Cygnus spacecraft is said to reach the station early Monday.

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