Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at space station

Watch: Orbital ATK Cygnus launches the SS John Glenn to the International Space Station!

NASA and the Department of Education, on behalf of the White House, are both mobilized "to encourage classrooms throughout America to tune-in" live, when President Trump calls NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this upcoming Monday, to congratulate her as she breaks the American record for most total days in space, besting NASA astronaut Jeff Williams' record of 534 days.

SS John Glenn rocketed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday with almost 3.5 tonnes of food, experiments and other goods.

Orbital ATK, a commercial cargo provider for NASA, said it is prepared to launch two additional cargo missions this year.

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The unmanned commercial spacecraft, on its seventh contracted resupply mission for NASA, was grappled by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the space station at 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 GMT), the USA space agency said.

"We're very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn". His widow, Annie, granted permission for Orbital ATK to use his name for the spacecraft.

Once aboard the orbiting outpost, Fischer and Yurchikhin will join the Expedition 51 crew. They joined Whitson, Pesquet and Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy, 10 days after three other station fliers returned to Earth. President Donald Trump will call her from the Oval Office to offer congratulations. After her ninth spacewalk, she will move up to No. 3 in the world, behind cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev and former astronaut Mike Lopez-Alegria.

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Additionally, she is the first woman to command the space station twice, and holds the record for most spacewalks conducted by a female astronaut. The next day, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is expected to arrive, followed by a Russian Progress freighter June 14.

With the Cygnus in grasp, flight controllers at NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston will take over from Pesquet and Whitson and to guide the spacecraft to a berthing on the Earth-facing port of the space station's Unity module, where it will remain attached for the next 85 days.

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