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Orbital ATK CRS-8 Prelaunch Mission Status Briefing

Orbital ATK CRS-8 Prelaunch Mission Status Briefing

It prompted the postponement of the launch, which will now take place on Sunday morning.

NASA tweeted that the launch was postponed "after an aircraft was detected in the vicinity of the launch pad".

The rocket will deliver 7,400 pounds of crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station.

Lift-off was set for 7:37 a.m.at Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on the Eastern Shore.

A NASA rocket launch was delayed on Saturday morning thanks to an unexpected visitor: a stray plane.

The culprit, a small personal aircraft that entered the restricted airspace was within a 6 miles (10 kilometers) offshore flying at an altitude of about 500 feet, which could have been unsafe for the lift-off.

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"We have confirmed that the aircraft that aborted today's launch attempt was a small aircraft flying at about 500ft approximately 6 miles offshore", according to the space agency's Twitter account for the Orbital ATK. "We are now de-tanking and will be ready to go tomorrow morning".

Watch the launch live beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST on launch day on NASA TV. The spacecraft will remain attached to the ISS for one month.

The barrel-shaped Cygnus is packed with 7,400 pounds (3,356 kilograms) of food, supplies, equipment and science experiments.

"Bacterial antibiotic resistance may pose a danger to astronauts in microgravity, where the immune response is weakened", NASA said.

The mission will be the eighth for Orbital ATK, which has a $1.9bn (£1.44bn) contract with NASA to resupply the ISS over several years.


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