Nasa and Orbital ATK set to launch a Cyngus rocket to International Space Station today – but will the latest private-sector space mission succeed?

 
Sarah Spickernell
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The rocket will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida
The rocket will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida (Source: Getty)

The latest in a series of private-sector space missions will be launched today, in another effort to restock the International Space Station (ISS).

Space technology company Orbital ATK is due to launch a Cyngus rocket packed with supplies from Cape Canaveral in Florida just after 5.30pm UK time.

The craft will deliver 3.5kg of food, clothes, supplies and technology for science experiments to the ISS. The equipment will prepare Nasa for studies it will carry out during up-coming missions.

The launch was supposed to happen yesterday, but had to be postponed to today due to adverse weather conditions.

But the success of this mission is far from certain if previous space launches by private companies are anything to go by. Last year, Orbital' Antares rocket exploded just seconds into its launch to the ISS.

Additionally, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blew up shortly after leaving the ground in June this year. That said both companies have completed a series of successful missions with Nasa in recent years.

If this mission is successful, it will revive Nasa's effort to commercialise its resupply missions to the ISS. Together, Orbital and SpaceX have a split deal worth $3.6bn with Nasa, and are currently competing for a further $3.5bn contract that will be awarded in January.

You can watch Orbital's Antares rocket explosion here:

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