The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 7:15 a.m. EST. The spacecraft will spend about three weeks attached to the space station before departing in early December. After it leaves the station, the uncrewed spacecraft will deploy several CubeSats before its fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere as it disposes of several tons of trash.
The spacecraft’s arrival brings close to 7,400 pounds of research and supplies to support Expedition 53 and 54. Highlights include:
- The coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) mission, which will investigate the effect of microgravity on the antibiotic resistance of E. coli, a bacterial pathogen responsible for urinary tract infection in humans and animals. Antibiotic resistance could pose a danger to astronauts, especially since microgravity has been shown to weaken human immune response. The experiment will expose two strains of E. coli to three different doses of antibiotics; one of these strains is deficient in the gene responsible for the increased antibiotic resistance in microgravity. Results from this investigation could help determine appropriate antibiotic dosages to protect astronaut health during long-duration missions and help us understand how antibiotic effectiveness may be increased in microgravity, as well as on Earth.
- The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) project, which will study high-speed optical transmission of data and small spacecraft proximity operations. It will test functionality of laser-based communications using CubeSats that provide a compact version of the technology. Results from OCSD could lead to significantly enhanced communication speeds between space and Earth and a better understanding of laser communication between small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
- The Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Microgravity via Rhizobium-Legume Symbiosis (Biological Nitrogen Fixation) investigation, which will examine how low-gravity conditions affect the nitrogen fixation process of Microclover, a resilient and drought tolerant legume. The nitrogen fixation process, a process by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into a usable form for living organisms, is a crucial element of any ecosystem necessary for most types of plant growth. This investigation could provide information on the space viability of the legume’s ability to use and recycle nutrients and give researchers a better understanding of this plant’s potential uses on Earth.
- The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna (ISARA), a hybrid solar power panel and communication solar antenna that can send and receive messages, will test the use of this technology in CubeSat-based environmental monitoring. ISARA may provide a solution for sending and receiving information to and from faraway destinations, both on Earth and in space.
Learn more about the Orbital ATK CRS-8 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station.
One thought on “Cygnus Installed on Station With New Science Experiments”
It’s great to know about the vehicle which now is under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program hopefully it becomes in duty soon to adopt missions to and from The International Space Station, but we have to take the advantage of a previous experiences and mistakes of the Space Shuttle Program in order to develop the new system to make it a multi-designs for each a spacecrafts and mission separate of each other automatically to prepare the suitable design for each Spacecraft for each speed and altitude, in order to overcome all difficulties that may facing The Space Shuttle, during it’s previous missions, particularly during the return from The International Space Station, because the most critical period of flight is passing through Earth’s atmosphere at speed 28000 km/h, ( because it creates a turbo vortexes around The Space Shuttle or The Dream Chaser which increase the temperature, corrosion and threatening the balance of the flight for these a complex shapes during the flight is at a extremely high speeds), therefore it seems to me the most familiar models for the flight at an extremely high speeds is a completely cylindrical capsule (during the undocing from The International Space Station) without any details of aeronautics shape to validate the aerodynamic properties at that critical period of flying.
Whenever the capsule reduce that a high speed via sub-engine explosions in the space, then The Vehicle should separate the cylindrical capsul to make the flight a normally and to prepare landing safely as any airplane to validate the aerodynamic properties at these values speed, because those aerodynamic designs of The Space Shuttle or The Dream Chaser, doesn’t satesfying the flying phase at extremely high speeds, thus the successful free-flight will be at a more than one step and the separation should be automatically under computer control, which the input of the data via a several sorts of sensors and navigation satellites in good performance for The Dream Chaser landing.
Briefly The Dream Chaser should be separate from the cylindericaly capsule then prepare for the normal landing in order to avoid create turbo vortexs that may being generated around The Dream Chaser in the high speed flight, because always the priority is for the safety, we don’t have a magical stick to solve all problems, we have a logical solutions.