The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launched from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018.
At the time of launch, Orbital ATK’s ninth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station was traveling at an altitude of about 250 miles. (Photo Credit NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
The Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off aboard the Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Loaded with 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, the International Space Station-bound Cygnus lincludes critical materials to support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 55 and 56.
The cargo ship will rendezvous with the International Space Station on Thursday, May 24.
Expedition 55 Flight Engineer Scott Tingle will grapple the spacecraft, backed by Ricky Arnold, and Drew Feustel will monitor Cygnus systems during its approach. They will use the space station’s robotic Canadarm2 to take hold of the Cygnus, dubbed the S.S. James “J.R.” Thompson.
After Cygnus’ capture, ground controllers will command the robotic arm to rotate and install Cygnus onto the station’s Unity module. It is scheduled to depart the space station in mid-July.
Science investigations aboard Cygnus on their way to the space station also include commercial and academic payloads in myriad disciplines, including:
Three Earth science CubeSats