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US cargo ship launch to ISS moves to Sunday: NASA

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The launch of the Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS) was rescheduled to Sunday due to bad weather, US space agency NASA has said.

“Saturday’s attempt was called off because of high winds that were expected to violate launch criteria throughout the 30-minute launch window,” Xinhua quoted NASA as saying in a statement.

It’s the third time for Orbital ATK to delay the cargo delivery mission. Thick clouds and high winds forced NASA to scrap the first two launch attempts at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US state of Florida on Thursday and Friday.

The launching mission will be operated by the private US space firm Orbital ATK, NASA said.

Orbital ATK will try again on Sunday at 4.44 p.m. (local time) with a 30-minute launch window.

NASA said the weather forecast for Sunday will improve to a 40 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.

Orbital ATK is one of the two commercial companies hired by NASA after the space shuttles were retired to fly cargo to the ISS.

Its third cargo mission was destroyed in a launch explosion in October last year. The other company, SpaceX, was recovering from a similar launch explosion in June this year as well.

This time, the Cygnus spacecraft will deliver about 3,500 kgs of cargo, including food and Christmas gifts, to the ISS.