Orbital ATK's cargo ship arrives at space station

Phillip Butler
April 24, 2017

According to ABC News, the S.S. John Glenn left Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday carrying 7,700 pounds of supplies for astronauts on the ISS. His widow, Annie, granted permission for Orbital ATK to use his name for the spacecraft.

President Donald Trump, his daughter, Ivanka, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will call NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson from the Oval Office on Monday to congratulate Whitson on her record-breaking stay on the International Space Station.

Space station commander Peggy Whitson - who on Monday will set a US record for most accumulated time in orbit - notified Mission Control when S.S. John Glenn was captured.

The unmanned commercial spacecraft, on its seventh contracted resupply mission for NASA, was grappled by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the space station at 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 GMT), the US space agency said. He returned to space in 1998 aboard shuttle Discovery, right before station construction began.

"We're very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn", said French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Whitson will be joined for President Trump's call by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, who is scheduled to arrive at the orbiting laboratory Thursday, April 20. In 2007, she and astronaut Pam Melroy became the first two female mission commanders in space at the same time.

Whitson arrived at the space station November 19, 2016, and is sharing her experiences in space on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Early Monday, she will surpass the 534-day, two-hour-and-change mark set by astronaut Jeffrey Williams a year ago.

The S.S. John Glenn is slated to remain docked with the ISS until July, when it will be jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere. You can listen to my interview with DP James Neihouse ACS about the challenges of shooting in space above, or read the full article here.

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