Live coverage of the departure of Northrop Grumman’s uncrewed Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station is underway on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app, with its release from the robotic arm scheduled for 7:20 a.m. EDT. Coverage will conclude following departure from station.
Flight controllers on the ground sent commands earlier Friday morning for the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Cygnus from the Unity module’s Earth-facing port, and then maneuver the spacecraft into position for its release. UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi will monitor Cygnus’ systems during its departure from the space station.
Following a deorbit engine firing later Friday evening, Cygnus will begin a planned destructive re-entry, in which the spacecraft – filled with trash packed by the station crew – will safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Cygnus arrived at the space station Nov. 10, following a launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the company’s 18th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA. Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft “S.S. Sally Ride” after late NASA astronaut, physicist, and first American woman to fly in space, Sally Ride, launched on an Antares rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops.
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