The launch of Orbital ATK's new & improved Cygnus cargo ship atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V 401 rocket at 4:44 p.m. EST on December 6, 2015 from Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex-41. The spacecraft was loaded with over 7,700 pounds of supplies, equipment & science experiments for the incumbent Expedition 45 crew of the International Space Station (ISS).  Levar Burton, who's well known for Star Trek & Reading Rainbow, has a children's book flying to space as well, part of NASA's "Story Time From Space" program for kids (along with other books too).

This was the "Return to Flight" for Cygnus, which was lost in October 2014 atop an Orbital ATK Antares rocket in Virginia when it exploded just seconds after liftoff. While Orbital ATK prepares to fly their new rocket in 2016, Cygnus is forced to ride with ULA to reach the ISS, as Orbital ATK has contractual obligations to NASA to resupply the ISS whether their rocket is available or not.

Photos are copyright 2015, all rights reserved, contact for licensing, usage and / or prints.

Coverage provided for AmericaSpace.

BELOW: Gallery of images from launch pad cameras

ABOVE: Something triggered this camera, so when it shot it did a longer exposure since it was already twilight. The gusty winds - combined with this camera shooting a longer exposure - caused the blur that is noticeable in the image. 

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