The private cargo ship Cygnus has launched several tons of research and supplies International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday (February 19).
The Northrop Grumman spacecraft was launched in time on top of the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops spacecraft in Virginia at 12:40 a.m. EST (5:40 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time), embarking on a 1.5-day voyage to the ISS. The wind was named the only potential serious obstacle to the launch, but a pre-launch poll showed no weather issues.
“It was the perfect trip to orbit,” a NASA spokesman said on NASA TV after launching during live comments. “The swan is now well on its way to the International Space Station.”
In addition to the expected orbital delivery, it is planned that Cygnus will perform the first operational reboot of the ISS under the program. From time to time you need to change the orbit of the space station, because it naturally returns to the Earth’s atmosphere.
The procedure is “an essential part of the maintenance of the International Space Station,” said Christina Halona, a systems engineer and program manager for Antares, during a live broadcast of the launch on NASA television on Saturday. The date of the maneuver during the broadcast was not discussed.
Assuming the mission goes according to plan, Cygnus is due to arrive on the ISS around 4:35 a.m. EST (9:35 a.m. GMT) on Monday (Feb. 21), delivering about 8,300 pounds (3,765 pounds) of materials. Space.com will be covering this NASA event starting at 3 a.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT).
Astronaut of the 66th NASA Expedition Raja Chari capture the Swan with the help of robot-canadian 2 orbital laboratory, and astronaut Kyle Barron acts as a backup. After capture, Mission Control will send a Canadarm2 team to turn and install the spacecraft on the Unity station module in an Earth-facing port.
Saturday’s launch marked the beginning of the 17th flight of Cygnus stockpiles, so the mission is known as NG-17.
“NG-17 is starting a very busy and exciting spring,” said Jennifer Buckley, deputy chief scientist of the International Space Station program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, during a news conference on February 11.
Buckley said that in the spring of NG-17 will go two more missions to replenish cargo, funded by NASA, although the agency has not yet announced which spacecraft is expected to enter orbit. upcoming launches calendar.
NASA has a choice: Swan or Dragon from SpaceX spacecraft to carry out robotic missions to replenish ISS. The dragon can conduct experiments in the refrigerator and bring to Earth scientific equipment; it survives on re-entry and can be reused. Cygnus vehicles, by contrast, are disposable; they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere after leaving the ISS. The departure of NG-17 from the orbital laboratory is expected sometime in May, NASA officials said.
There is also a third robotic machine to replenish stocks: the Russian cargo “Progress”. The last mission of Progress arrived on the ISS early Thursday morning (February 17), delivering about 2.8 tons of materials and equipment.
Cygnus, flying on NG-17, is named after NASA astronaut Pierce Sellers, who spent 35 days in space three space shuttle missions that assisted in building the ISS. Sellers, also a climatologist and deputy director of the Science and Research Directorate of the Goddard Space Flight Center, died in 2016 after diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
SS Piers Sellers will have on board a large amount of research, including:
- Aging Colgate skin an experiment led by Colgate. It “evaluates cellular and molecular changes in engineered human skin cells in microgravity,” NASA reports. press release. Changes in such cells affect issues such as infection control or body temperature regulation, which are functions of the skin.
- Tumor MicroQuin 3D, led by MicroQuin. She is “investigating the effects of the drug on breast cancer cells and prostate space,” NASA said. Microgravity encourages these cells to grow in three dimensions, giving researchers the opportunity to carefully study the structure.
- Demonstration of the OGA H2 sensor (OGS) under the direction of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. He is “testing new sensors for the space station’s oxygen production system.” OGS separates hydrogen from oxygen by electrolysis. Although current sensors ensure that hydrogen does not enter the cabin, they are sensitive to factors such as humidity, and require replacement every 201 days.
- As-Lib space, an experiment by the Japanese Aerospace Research Agency, which investigates “a lithium-ion secondary battery capable of operating safely, stably at extreme temperatures and in a vacuum environment.” The battery has flame retardant materials and is liquid-tight, among other features.
- Exhibited root test system in orbit (XROOTS) research led by Sierra Nevada Corp. This experiment tests plant growth in hydroponic (water-based) and aeroponic (air-based) systems rather than using soil. If successful, these systems could reduce the mass of experiments with plants, researchers say.
- Ignition and quenching of solid fuels (SOFI), a new combustion plant to be installed in a stand for combustion investigations located in the U.S. Laboratory Module (Destiny) for Safe Combustion Research.
https://www.space.com/space-station-cygnus-ng-17-cargo-ship-launch Northrop Grumman rocket launches Cygnus cargo spacecraft during 2-day trip to space station