Rocket Blasts Off to International Space Station ... Carrying Ants

PHOTO: The Antares rocket was launched from a beachside pad at NASA’s facility at 1:07 pm ET. The launch was delayed one day due to a huge solar flare.
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A commercial spaceflight blasted off today from NASA's beachside Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on a resupply mission to the International Space Station, carrying 2,780 pounds of cargo -- including swarms of ants!

The social insects will be recorded in their living quarters at the International Space Station, according to NASA. Scientists and K-12 students will follow the experiment from Earth, hoping to glean information about the behavior of groups of ants in gravity and microgravity conditions.

NASA said the experiment could help cultivate "a better understanding of swarm intelligence," which could lead to more refined mathematical procedures for solving complex problems, such as routing trucks and scheduling airlines, back on Earth.

Delayed by a day by a huge solar flare, the spacecraft is expected to arrive at the space station during the early hours of Sunday, Jan. 12.

PHOTO: A commercial spaceflight blasted off from NASAs beachside Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia today on a resupply mission to the International Space Station.
NASA
PHOTO: A commercial spaceflight blasted off from NASA's beachside Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia today on a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

PHOTO: The Antares rocket was launched from a beachside pad at NASA’s facility at 1:07 pm ET. The launch was delayed one day due to a huge solar flare.
NASA
PHOTO: The Antares rocket was launched from a beachside pad at NASA’s facility at 1:07 pm ET. The launch was delayed one day due to a huge solar flare.

PHOTO: This photo provided by NASA shows an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches at NASAs Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, Wallops Island, Va.
NASA/AP Photo
PHOTO: This photo provided by NASA shows an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, Wallops Island, Va.

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