The unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft departed Tuesday from the International Space Station after a five-week resupply mission and is now headed for destruction in Earth's atmosphere, NASA announced.

Cygnus, built by the Orbital Sciences company, undocked from the ISS at 1140 GMT after deploying in orbit more than 30 mini-satellites, including one from Peru.

The spacecraft had lifted off on Jan. 9 from NASA's facility at Virginia's Wallop Island on board an Antares rocket and took up to the ISS 1,260 kilos (almost 2,780 pounds) of food, clothing, scientific material and other equipment for the six astronauts living on board the orbital station.

It also carried 23 experiments designed by students, including a colony of ants.

The next ISS supply mission using a Cygnus capsule is scheduled for May.

Orbital Sciences is one of the two companies that have signed contracts with NASA to transport cargo to and from the ISS, a $100 million space platform in which 15 nations are participating.

Since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, crew members travel to and from the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The Cygnus capsule is disposable and will be burned up when it enters the Earth's atmosphere. EFEUSA