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Originally rescheduled twice due to cold weather and the solar flare that was ejected from the Sun on Tuesday, the Orbital Sciences Corp. unmanned Antares cargo rocket successfully managed to liftoff on Thursday. It is now headed to the International Space Station.
The solar flare delay was due to worries over radiation from the solar flare, reports Fox News. The rocket was launched from Wallops Island, Va. and was visible in North Carolina.
According to Reuters, the successful launch is the first of eight that will be sending supplies to the ISS for NASA. Orbital Sciences has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA that was agreed upon after the space shuttle retirement three years ago.
Orbital Sciences is one of two companies with a contract with NASA, with SpaceX being the other. Both companies were given a combined $686 million via NASA to put towards rocket development.
The cargo, scheduled to arrive early Sunday, contains fresh food, science and station-related equipment as well as Christmas gifts for those currently aboard the ISS.
image: Wikimedia Commons