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New commercial supply ship reaches space station

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top,  as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background  Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top, as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top,  as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background  Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top, as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

    This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

  • This image released by AMC shows Hank Schrader, played by Dean Norris, foreground, and Steven Gomez, played by Steven Michael Quezada, in episode from season five of  "Breaking Bad." The series finale of the popular drama series airs on Sunday, Sept. 29. (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)

    This image released by AMC shows Hank Schrader, played by Dean Norris, foreground, and Steven Gomez, played by Steven Michael Quezada, in episode from season five of "Breaking Bad." The series finale of the popular drama series airs on Sunday, Sept. 29. (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)

  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft attached to the Canadarm 2 on the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were travelling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft after it was captured by the robot arm on the International Space Station early Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. At the time both vehicles were traveling over the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft as it approaches the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. The Canadarm 2 which will grapple the spacecraft can be seen lower left. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top,  as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background  Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft, top,  as it approaches the International Space Station, lower left, with the curvature of the earth in the background  Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
  • This image released by AMC shows Hank Schrader, played by Dean Norris, foreground, and Steven Gomez, played by Steven Michael Quezada, in episode from season five of  "Breaking Bad." The series finale of the popular drama series airs on Sunday, Sept. 29. (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)

NASA’s newest delivery service made its first-ever shipment to the International Space Station yesterday, another triumph for the booming commercial space arena that has its sights set on launching astronauts.

Orbital Sciences Corp.’s unmanned cargo ship, the Cygnus, pulled up at the orbiting lab with a half-ton of meals and special treats for the station astronauts who assisted in the high-flying feat.

With the smooth linkup, Orbital Sciences of Virginia became only the second company to accomplish such a far-flung shipment. The California-based SpaceX company took the lead last year.

NASA officials along with White House representatives declared it a historic day.

“It was just a very, very impressive job. . . . I just couldn’t be happier and more proud,” said the NASA manager overseeing this commercial effort, Alan Lindenmoyer.

Now that the space station has two U.S. private companies capable of delivering goods, he noted, “it’s certainly relief and something we’re ready to celebrate.”

Applause could be heard in Mission Control once Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano grabbed hold of Cygnus with the space station’s hulking mechanical arm. The union occurred 260 miles above the Indian Ocean. Before long, the capsule was latched securely to the orbiting lab. Its hatch will remain closed until early today; that’s when the six station astronauts will enter the capsule and begin unloading the bounty.

John Holdren, assistant to President Obama for science and technology, said yesterday’s success validates the president’s goal of focusing NASA on deep-space exploration and leaving station cargo and astronaut hauls to private industry.

“Space history was made again today,” Holdren said in a statement.

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