Live coverage of the departure of Northrop Grumman’s uncrewed Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station is underway on NASA Television and the agency’s website, and the NASA app, with its release from the robotic arm scheduled for 11 a.m.
Flight controllers on the ground sent commands earlier this morning for the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Cygnus from the Unity module’s Earth-facing port and maneuver the arm into position in preparation for releasing the spacecraft. Astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) will monitor Cygnus’ systems upon its departure from the space station.
After departure, the Kentucky Re-Entry Probe Experiment (KREPE) stowed inside Cygnus will take measurements to demonstrate a thermal protection system for spacecraft and their contents during re-entry in Earth’s atmosphere, which can be difficult to replicate in ground simulations.
Cygnus will deorbit on Wednesday, Dec. 15, following a deorbit engine firing to set up a destructive re-entry in which the spacecraft, filled with waste the space station crew packed in the spacecraft, will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
For departure coverage and more information about the mission, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/. Get space station news, images and features via social media at: @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.
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