Cygnus spacecraft begins secondary mission
Posted on 28 Aug 2019 and read 916 times
Earlier this month, Northrop Grumman confirmed that its Cygnus spacecraft had departed from the International Space
Station (ISS) to start the second phase of its mission (www.northropgrumman.com
The NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft (named in honour of Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Chaffee) left the ISS after a 109-day stay.
While docked at the orbiting laboratory, astronauts unloaded about 7,000lb of supplies and scientific equipment, then loaded some 5,300lb of ‘disposable cargo’ into Cygnus for removal from the station.
The next phase of the mission involves deploying multiple CubeSats via the ‘Slingshot CubeSat Deployer System’ (installed by NASA astronauts prior to un-berthing from the ISS) and the NanoRacks external CubeSat deployer.
This Cygnus will then remain in orbit to meet a second Cygnus spacecraft scheduled for launch in October.
This operation is designed to demonstrate the ability to fly two Cygnus spacecraft simultaneously, support hosted payloads for longer periods of time and “reinforce Cygnus’s ability to serve a robust and growing commercial economy in low Earth orbit”.