The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 9:26 a.m. EST. Cygnus will be the first cargo ship to be berthed to the Earth-facing port on the Unity module.
The spacecraft’s arrival will support the crew members’ research off the Earth to benefit the Earth. The Cygnus is delivering more than 7,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46. Science payloads aboard Cygnus will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.
Cygnus also will deliver replacement cargo items including a set of Microsoft HoloLens devices for use in NASA’s Sidekick project, a safety jet pack astronauts wear during spacewalks known as SAFER, and high pressure nitrogen and oxygen tanks to plug into the station’s air supply network.
The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in January 2016, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash.
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5 thoughts on “Cygnus Attached to Station Ready for Business”
Happy to see that we are doing space travel with our own equipment again.
Has the Cygnus hatch been opened?
The Cygnus hatch was opened Dec. 10, the day after it arrived at the International Space Station and was attached to the Unity module.
I like the term “destructive re-entry”… is it designed to completely disintegrate during re-entry or do some larger parts still remain?
I find the whole re-entry side absolutely incredible. It’s one thing to be able to design a vessel capable of reaching space, but is it actually possible to have a controlled fragmentation?
Engineers are studying the destructive re-entry process to create safer, more controlled re-entries. When a cargo vehicle burns up in the atmosphere it does so over the Pacific Ocean so larger debris that survives the re-entry splashes down safely.