Orbital ATK is out with a short feature about the Enhanced Cygnus spacecraft that will carry experiments, equipment and supplies to the International Space Station crew in December. The new spacecraft carries 25 percent more cargo than its predecessor and features a number of changes such as the more efficient solar arrays seen unfurled in the photo above from Orbital ATK. Read more from Orbital ATK here.
The Enhanced Cygnus is to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with about 5,900 pounds of materials. The spacecraft will not carry any crew. Station astronauts will use the robotic arm on the orbiting laboratory to grasp the Enhanced Cygnus as it approaches and connect it to a port for unloading.
The Cygnus spacecraft that will carry nearly 6,000 pounds of cargo on the next U.S. resupply flight to the International Space Station moved late yesterday from the Space Station Processing Facility to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Today it moves into the building’s high bay, where it will be uncovered, removed from atop its transporter, and placed into a work stand to begin preparations for propellant loading next week.
Developed and built by Orbital ATK, the Cygnus comprises the pressurized cargo module and attached service module, which houses the solar arrays and propulsion system. The spacecraft is set to deliver equipment, supplies and research to the station on the company’s fourth Commercial Resupply Services flight.
Launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V is scheduled for Dec. 3 from Space Launch Complex 41 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.