Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket lifts off the launch pad at the NASA Test Flight Facility, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Wallops Island, Va. The rocket carries a Cygnus space vessel that will deliver supplies to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — Northrop Grumman’s latest space station delivery includes pizza for seven.
The company’s Cygnus cargo ship rocketed away from Virginia’s eastern shore Tuesday. It should reach the International Space Station on Thursday.
The 8,200-pound (3,700-kilogram) shipment includes fresh apples, tomatoes and kiwi, along with a pizza kit and cheese smorgasbord for the seven station astronauts.
Also flying: a mounting bracket for new solar wings launching to the orbiting lab next year, a material simulating moon dust and dirt that will be used to create items from the space station’s 3D printer, slime mold for a French educational experiment called Blob and an infrared-detecting device meant as a prototype for future tracking satellites.
It is Northrop Grumman’s 16th supply run for NASA and its biggest load yet. The company’s Antares rocket hoisted the capsule from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
“Aloha to the S.S. Ellison Onizuka,” Northrop Grumman said via Launch Control minutes before liftoff. The capsule was named for Hawaii’s Onizuka, the first Asian American in space who died in the 1986 Challenger launch disaster.
NASA’s other shipper, SpaceX, will follow with a cargo run in a few weeks.
The space station is currently home to three Americans, two Russians, one French and one Japanese.