Orbital Sciences Launch to Resupply ISS Successful

Sign of things to come


It's not that big of a rocket, really, and the cargo in the spacecraft is relatively mundane — about 1,500 pounds of clothes, food, water, chocolate for the chocolate-craving astronauts, and so on. But the rocket that blasted off at 10:58 a.m. Wednesday from a small island on the Virginia coast is carrying a heavy burden of expectations.

Dulles-based Orbital Sci­ences launched its Cygnus spacecraft atop an Antares rocket on a supply mission to the international space station, and a great many people at NASA and in the broader space community were watching.