John Glenn Honored With Launch of Space Station Supply Ship

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will carry supplies to the International Space Station stands ready at complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Monday in Cape Canaveral, Fla. But the first-ever live 360-degree video stream of a rocket launch?

The Cygnus capsule, provided by private space company Orbital ATK, is packed with about 7,600 pounds of supplies and science for the International Space Station.

The launch window opens at 11:11 a.m. EST.

It's launch day for a United Launch Alliance mission named after John Glenn, an astronaut and former USA senator who once rode into space on a predecessor of the rocket that launches today.

In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in space. He died last December at age 95. The mission will deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

According to the US space agency NASA, the new experiments include an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment and an advanced plant habitat for studying plant physiology and growth of fresh food in space. There's also the latest in a series of experiments to study how things burn up in space. Anyone using a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone had access to the 360-degree view, along with the ability to manipulate the video, altering the perspective to place themselves close to the rocket as it lifted off, launch commentator George Diller said.

Another launch to the station is due on Thursday, when two new crew members will head into orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA confirmed that many viewers experienced "technical difficulties" with the live feed.

The mission had been planned for March 27 but was delayed because of issues with the rocket booster's hydraulic line.

  • Carolyn Briggs