Space station supply ship at launch pad honors John Glenn

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will carry supplies to the International Space Station stands ready at complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch is scheduled for Tuesday morning and for the first time, NASA cameras will provide live 360-degree video of the rocket heading toward space. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A space station supply ship named for John Glenn is bound for orbit.

An Atlas rocket provided Tuesday’s lift, just as it did for Glenn 55 years ago. The unmanned rocket took off in late morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The commercial cargo ship, dubbed the S.S. John Glenn, holds nearly 7,700 pounds (3,500 kilograms) of food, equipment and research for the International Space Station. It’s due there Saturday.

The shipper, Orbital ATK, asked Glenn’s widow, Annie, for permission to use his name for the spacecraft, following his December death.

Glenn, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. He launched again in 1998 aboard shuttle Discovery at age 77, the oldest person ever in space.

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