DULLES, Va. (WUSA9) -- A spacecraft arrived early Sunday morning at the International Space Station carrying much needed supplies and important research.
That spacecraft was designed and built right in our area. The maker of the spacecraft is Dulles-based Orbital Sciences
Last Thursday's rocket launch culminated in the rendezvous and arrival of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft at the International Space Station.
A robot arm snatched Cygnus early Sunday morning.
The rendezvous is no easy task, with the International Space Station traveling not quite lightning speed, but 17,500 miles per hour.
The meeting was all under the direction of Program Director Frank DeMauro, who works with a team of 250 people.
These scientists are receiving constant information from Cygnus and it's all happening in Dulles.
"To be able to design and build the space craft here in Dulles and launch it from the Eastern Shore is pretty special, " DeMauro said.
Astronauts are working on getting the hatch open to the Cygnus spacecraft. Inside are much needed supplies, clothes, food and dozens of science experiments.
"We are flying some ants on the spacecraft so students can study how ants create habitat in space, " said DeMauro.
The ton and a half of cargo also includes some belated Christmas presents.
"I'm sure they'll appreciate it. I'm amazingly proud to be a part of this program, amazingly proud to be part of our team," DeMauro said.
The spacecraft will stay at the International Space Station for nearly 30 days. Orbital Sciences will produce seven more missions in the next 3 years under a $2 billion contract with NASA.
Cygnus was suppose to arrive before Christmas but there was a problem at the space station and weather caused the delay.