Yesterday NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully launched a Cygnus resupply spacecraft atop an Antares rocket headed to the International Space Station with almost 8000 pounds of supplies and equipment on board. The rocket launched at 9:16 PM EDT on Friday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket launched from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A.
The resupply spacecraft should arrive at the ISS around 5:20 AM on Monday, October 5. NASA has announced that it will provide coverage of the approaching arrival of the spacecraft starting at 3:45 AM on NASA television and via the NASA website. Once the capsule arrives at the space station, Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy we use the robotic arm of the space station to capture the capsule and attach it to the space station on the Unity module’s Earth-facing port.
Cygnus will remain at the space station until the middle of December before it departs for its last fiery journey through the Earth’s atmosphere. It will depart with several thousand pounds of trash inside which will be disposed of as the module burns up during a safe re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. This mission is Northrop Grumman’s 14th contract cargo flight to the ISS and third under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA.
We talked about this mission before and a few of the things that are heading to the space station aboard the spacecraft. The most notable is a new toilet for the space station designed to be smaller and lighter and to support more crewmembers. Also aboard the spacecraft are a new crop of vegetables to provide the astronauts with fresh food.
Among the new crop of vegetables is radishes astronauts intend to cultivate seeds to see how different light and civil conditions impact growth. Other items in the cargo being transported include new experiments to help identify targeted cancer treatments and experiments on conducting spacewalks in virtual reality.