At 8:06 a.m. EST, Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was released from the Canadarm2 robotic arm which earlier detached Cygnus from the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s Unity module. At the time of release, the station was flying about 260 miles over the Atlantic Ocean.
The Cygnus spacecraft successfully departed the space station more than four months after arriving at the microgravity laboratory to deliver about 8,200 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo for NASA and its international partners.
Following a deorbit engine firing in early January, 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 Aug. 4, following a launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the company’s 19th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA. Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft after the late NASA astronaut Laurel Clark.
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