Cygnus was successfully berthed to ISS today.

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Cygnus was successfully berthed to ISS today.

This is the first operational station resupply mission carried out by Orbital Sciences under a $1.9 billion contract with NASA calling for at least eight flights and delivery of 40,000 pounds of cargo and supplies.

The Cygnus captured Sunday will remain attached to the space station until mid February. At that point SpaceX will step up with launch of a Dragon cargo ship around Feb. 22. It will be the third operational resupply flight by SpaceX, which holds a $1.6 billion contract to deliver more than 44,000 pounds of supplies over a dozen missions.


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