NASA television is underway for the capture of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft which launched Saturday at 12:40 p.m. on an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. At about 4:35 a.m., NASA astronaut Raja Chari will capture Cygnus, with NASA astronaut Kayla Barron acting as backup. After Cygnus capture, mission control in Houston will send ground commands for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port.
This is Northrop Grumman’s 17th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a fresh supply of 8,300 pounds of scientific investigations and cargo to the orbiting laboratory.
This Cygnus mission is the first to feature enhanced capabilities that will allow the spacecraft to perform a reboost, using its engines to adjust the space station’s orbit as a standard service for NASA. The agency has one reboost is planned while Cygnus is connected to the orbiting laboratory. A test of the maneuver was performed in 2018 during Cygnus’ ninth resupply mission.
The Cygnus spacecraft is named the S.S. Piers Sellers in honor of the late NASA astronaut who spent nearly 35 days across three missions helping to construct the space station.
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