One of NASA's prime shippers, Orbital ATK, has launched a fresh load of supplies to the International Space Station.
The Antares rocket blasted off from Wallops Island, Virginia, before dawn Monday, treating early risers along the East Coast to a cosmic light show, at least where skies were clear. The 7,400-pound shipment — a third of it research — should reach the orbiting lab Thursday.
The Cygnus capsule holds a student cement-mixing experiment, as well as an atom-cooling chamber from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that uses lasers to get temperatures colder than even space itself. There's also equipment for a spacewalk next month.
Named for the swan constellation, the Cygnus is making Orbital ATK's ninth contracted delivery for NASA. SpaceX is NASA's other supplier.