A Northrop Grumman cargo ship carrying more than 8,200 pounds of science and research investigations, supplies, and hardware is set to arrive at the International Space Station early this morning. The uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft launched at 6:01 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 10 on an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
When Cygnus arrives, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur will use the space station’s robotic Canadarm2 to capture it while ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet monitors telemetry during rendezvous, capture, and installation on the Earth-facing port of the Unity module.
Northrop Grumman named the Cygnus spacecraft for this resupply mission in honor of former NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who was the first Asian American astronaut. Onizuka was hired in 1978 in the first class of diverse astronauts, and his first spaceflight was aboard space shuttle Discovery in January 1985 for STS-51-C. He lost his life aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.