The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 10:52 a.m. EDT.
The spacecraft’s arrival will support the crew members’ research off the Earth to benefit the Earth. The Cygnus is delivering more than 7,700 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 47 and 48.
Beginning with this mission, Cygnus is equipped with a NanoRacks External Cygnus Deployer for CubeSats that will provide opportunities for small satellites to be deployed from Cygnus after the vehicle departs from the ISS.
The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before separating from the station. After completion of its primary ISS resupply mission, Cygnus depart a safe distance from the station before deploying the satellites, and begin its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in May 2016, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash.
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Using the International Space Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra successfully captured Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo vehicle at 6:51 a.m. EDT. The space station crew and the robotics officer in mission control in Houston will position Cygnus for installation to the orbiting laboratory’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module.
NASA TV coverage of the installation will begin at 9:15 a.m. Installation of the Cygnus spacecraft to the space station is expected to be completed by 9:25 a.m.
Among the more than 7,700 pounds of supplies aboard Cygnus are numerous science and research investigations and technology demonstrations, including Saffire-I, which will provide a new way to study a large fire on an exploration craft. Such studies have not been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on spacecraft with astronauts aboard are too high.
Saffire-1 will remain on the spacecraft once all the other supplies are unloaded, and the vehicle will be attached to the space station for about two months. Once it departs and the spacecraft is a safe distance from the space station, engineers will remotely conduct the first Saffire experiment before the Cygnus’ destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Before detaching from the station, Cygnus will also be filled with about 3,000 pounds of trash, which will be burned up over the Pacific Ocean.
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An Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft carrying more than 7,700 pounds of supplies and science and research investigations is set to arrive to the International Space Station early Saturday morning. The uncrewed cargo ship launched at 11:05 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 22 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin its journey to the orbiting laboratory.
Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineer Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station’s Candarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture Cygnus at approximately 6:40 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:30 a.m. Installation is expected to begin at 9:25 a.m. NASA TV coverage resumes at 9:15 a.m.
The mission is Orbital ATK’s fifth cargo delivery flight to the station through NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, and the second flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft to the station.
A new shipment of science, spacewalk gear and crew supplies is on its way to the International Space Station. The Expedition 47 crew is preparing for its arrival while continuing research and maintenance operations onboard the orbital laboratory.
The Cygnus space freighter is refining its orbital path to the station to complete a Saturday delivery to the Harmony module. Astronauts Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Jeff Williams are training for the robotic capture of Cygnus using Canada’s 57.7 foot Canadarm2. NASA TV will provide coverage of the Cygnus rendezvous and capture beginning Saturday at 5:30 a.m. EDT/9:30 a.m. UTC.
Meanwhile, the crew is moving on with advanced experiment work exploring how living in space affects a crew member’s body. The orbital science activities also have the potential to improve life on Earth.
Peake continued more immune system research today for the Multi-Omics investigation. Peake and Kopra then partnered up for the Habitability Factors experiment. Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Yuri Malenchenko worked together on the Cardiovector blood circulation study. Malenchenko then joined Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka researching how crew members adapt to moving around in weightlessness.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifted off at 11:05 p.m. EDT/3:05 a.m. UTC, and Cygnus has begun its journey to the International Space Station with an arrival on March 26. Cygnus will separate from the upper stage of the Atlas rocket 21 minutes after launch.
An hour and half after launch, commands will be given to deploy the spacecraft’s UltraFlex solar arrays.
This is the second Cygnus mission using the Atlas V launch system and the second flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft to the station. In addition to the new solar arrays, the cargo freighter features a greater payload capacity and new fuel tanks. Cygnus’ pressurized cargo module has been extended and increases the spacecraft’s interior volume capacity by 25 percent, allowing more cargo to be delivered with each mission.
Launch coverage will continue on NASA TV at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv until shortly after spacecraft separation then resume at about 12:35 a.m. in advance of solar array deployment at about 12:41 a.m.
A post-launch news conference is scheduled to begin on NASA TV at approximately 1:30 a.m.
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Officials in Florida are forecasting a 90% chance of favorable weather for tonight’s launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus space freighter to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the crew explored advanced space science today and reviewed their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency aboard the station.
Cygnus is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:05 p.m. EDT/3:05 a.m. UTC. The cargo mission will deliver nearly 7,500 pounds of science gear, crew supplies and vehicle hardware Saturday morning to the Expedition 47 crew.
Among the science being delivered aboard Cygnus is a pair of unique experiments exploring different fields. The Gecko Gripper study will research systems that use grippers with unique properties of adhesion. The Meteor study will observe meteor shows from the space station and explore their chemistry.
The Expedition 47 crew is at full strength after the arrival of three new crew members Friday night. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin will be familiarizing themselves with station systems over the next few days and will be staying in space till September.
All six crew members, including Commander Tim Kopra of NASA, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and British astronaut Tim Peake, spread throughout the orbital laboratory to explore a wide array of advanced space science.
Orbital ATK is getting ready to launch its Cygnus space freighter to the International Space Station Tuesday night from Florida. The crew is training for its arrival Saturday night when they will capture it and attach it to the Unity module. Cygnus will deliver almost 7,500 pounds of research gear, spacewalk hardware and crew supplies to the Expedition 47 crew.
The Soyuz TMA-20M vehicle docked to the International Space Station’s Poisk module at 11:09 p.m. EDT approximately 250 miles above the Southern Pacific Ocean off the western coast of Peru.
Aboard the space station, 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineers Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos, will welcome Soyuz crew members Jeff Williams of NASA and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, when the hatches between the two spacecraft are open.
A Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft carrying astronaut Jeff Williams of NASA and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station at 11:11 p.m. EDT. NASA Television coverage of the docking is now live:
NASA TV will resume at 12:30 a.m. EDT to cover hatch opening between the two spacecraft as well as the welcoming ceremony. The incoming crew will join Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineers Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos, which brings the crew to six aboard the station.
The Soyuz TMA-20M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 5:26 p.m. EDT Friday (3:26 a.m. on March 19 in Baikonur). Jeff Williams of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin are now safely in orbit. NASA Television coverage of the launch continues: