Orbital cargo ship arrives at space station

Unmanned Atlas V rocket with Cygnus lifts off on April 18, 2017 at Cape Canaveral, Florida

An unmanned Cygnus cargo ship carrying a load of supplies and science experiments arrived safely at the International Space Station on Saturday, according to live images broadcast on NASA television.

Working from inside the orbiting lab, US astronaut Peggy Whitson and her French counterpart Thomas Pesquet operated the station's external robotic arm to grab the approaching spaceship at 6:05 am (1005 GMT).

The Cygnus spacecraft is packed with 7,626 pounds (3,459 kilograms) of crew supplies, hardware and dozens of experiments aimed at studying fire, growing food and cancer therapies.

After the astronauts unpack the Cygnus, they will reload it with trash that will burn up along with the spacecraft upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere on July 25.

This supply mission by Orbital ATK is the company's seventh as part of a $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

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