Spaceflight Insider

Photo Gallery: ULA launches S.S. John Glenn to orbit

Atlas V / OA-7 / S.S. John Glenn launch

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket launches the OA-7 “S.S. John Glenn” Cygnus cargo freighter from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In conditions reminiscent of American hero John Glenn’s Friendship 7 flight in February 1962, Orbital ATK’s OA-7 “S.S. John Glenn” Cygnus cargo ship, launching atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, soared toward orbit to resupply the International Space Station.

Liftoff took place at 11:11 a.m. EDT (15:11 GMT) April 18, 2017, from Space Launch Complex 41. Once in orbit, Cygnus began its four-day trek to the space station. It is expected to arrive at the outpost on the morning of April 22. Cygnus is carrying with it some 7,500 pounds (3,400 kilograms) of crew supplies, cargo, and experiments for the Expedition 51 crew.

The uncrewed cargo freighter was named after the American legend, who became the first American to orbit Earth in the early 1960s. Glenn’s flight, which launched atop a Mercury-Atlas rocket, lasted almost five hours before splashing down in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The S.S. John Glenn, however, will stay attached to the ISS for about three months, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere in July 2017.

The following photos were taken by the SpaceFlight Insider Visual Team.

OA-7At 11:11 a.m. EDT (15:11 GMT) April 18, 2017, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket launched the OA-7 "S.S. John Glenn" cargo freighter from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41, located in Florida. The soda can-shaped spacecraft's mission was to deliver 7,262 pounds (3,295 kilograms) worth of cargo, crew supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station. The mission lifted off at the opening of a 30-minute-long launch window, marking the third time that one of ULA's rockets was used to send a Cygnus spacecraft on its way to the station under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract Orbital ATK has signed with NASA. Photos courtesy: Jacques van Oene, Michael Howard, Jim Siegel, Tom Cross, Vikash Mahadeo




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