Space

October 23, 2013

Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft departs ISS, ends demonstration mission for NASA

A cargo resupply demonstration mission by Orbital Sciences Corp. drew to a close Oct. 22 as Expedition 37 crew members aboard the International Space Station detached and released the Dulles, Va., company’s Cygnus spacecraft from the orbiting laboratory.

Cygnus had been attached to the space station’s Harmony module for 23 days. The spacecraft delivered about 1,300 pounds of cargo, including food, clothing and student experiments. Future Cygnus flights will ensure a robust national capability to deliver critical science research to orbit, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new science investigations to the only laboratory in microgravity.

“Congratulations to the teams at Orbital Sciences and NASA who worked hard to make this demonstration mission to the International Space Station an overwhelming success,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “We are delighted to now have two American companies able to resupply the station. U.S. innovation and inspiration have once again shown their great strength in the design and operation of a new generation of vehicles to carry cargo to our laboratory in space. Orbital’s success today is helping make NASA’s future exploration to farther destinations possible.”

Prior to its departure from the station, Cygnus was loaded with items no longer needed aboard the station. Astronauts Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency detached the spacecraft using the station’s robotic arm and released Cygnus at 7:31 a.m., EDT. Orbital Sciences engineers now will conduct a series of planned burns and maneuvers to move Cygnus toward a destructive re-entry in Earth’s atmosphere Oct. 23.

Cygnus was launched Sept. 18 on Orbital’s Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The maiden flight of Cygnus and its 11-day journey to the station included a number of tests designed to demonstrate the spacecraft’s ability to navigate, maneuver, lock on to the station and abort its approach. Following these demonstrations NASA cleared the spacecraft to approach the station Sept. 29. Cygnus had been scheduled for a rendezvous with the space station Sept. 22, but because of a data format mismatch, the first rendezvous attempt was postponed. Orbital updated and tested a software patch to resolve the issue.

Orbital built and tested its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Program. NASA initiatives, such as COTS, are helping to develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from low-Earth orbit to meet the needs of both commercial and government customers. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program also is working with commercial partners to enable the availability of U.S. commercial human spaceflight capabilities in the next few years.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NASA awards program analysis, Control Bridge III Contract

NASA has awarded the Program Analysis and Control III Bridge contract for support services to ASRC Research & Technology Solutions of Beltsville, Md. The cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity basic contract has a minimum ordering value of $1 million and a maximum ordering value of $37 million, with a performance period beginning Aug. 30 through Feb....
 
 

NASA selects 26 space biology research proposals

NASA’s Space Biology Program will fund 26 proposals to investigate how microbes, cells, plants and animals respond to changes in gravity. The research will be conducted aboard the International Space Station. The research will help uncover new basic knowledge that other NASA researchers and engineers can use to solve problems confronting human exploration of space...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 

 

NASA’s RXTE satellite decodes rhythm of an unusual black hole

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TSWZI2oUgnI?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite. The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a ga...
 
 

NASA announces awards to expand informal STEM education network

NASA has selected 12 informal educational institutions to receive approximately $6 million in agency funding to provide compelling science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in informal education settings, such as museums, science centers, planetariums and NASA visitor centers. The selected projects will complement and enhance STEM curricula taught in traditional kindergarten throu...
 
 

Orbital completes third cargo delivery mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Aug. 18 the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>