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Cygnus cargo ship arrives at space station

© NASA TV/AFP/File | The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft is shown approaching its capture point as it nears the International Space Station in this April 22, 2017 file image from NASA TV

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

Orbital ATK's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship arrived Tuesday at the International Space Station carrying more than 7,400 pounds (3,400 kilograms) of food, supplies and experiments, the US space agency said.

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and his US colleague Randy Bresnik maneuvered the station's robotic arm to capture the barrel-shaped capsule, which was bolted onto the space lab at 7:15 am (1215 GMT), NASA said.

The cargo ship launched Sunday atop an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia, marking the eighth supply trip for Orbital ATK under its $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

On board are science experiments to help astronauts study antimicrobial resistance in space, how plants grow in microgravity, and new satellite technologies.

The cargo ship will stay attached to the orbiting outpost until early December, when astronauts will pack it with trash and send it away.

The capsule is designed to burn up upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

© 2017 AFP