Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cygnus Cargo Craft Arrives at International Space Station

The Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo craft has arrived at the International Space Station.

On just its second official resupply mission to the orbiting outpost(Orb-2), and traveling at 5 miles a second, Cygnus was captured by Expedition 40 crew members Steve Swanson of NASA and Alexander Gerst of ESA.

Working from the robotics workstation in the Cupola, the pair slowly moved the station's 57 foot long robot arm, Canadarm2, into position before capturing and grappling Cygnus at 11:36 a.m. Irish Time.

Once Cygnus was now in the capable hands of Canadarm2, robotics teams on the ground turned their attention to berthing Cygnus to the Earth facing port of the Harmony Module. Berthing of Cygnus to Harmony occurred at 1:53 p.m.

Expedition 40 crew members running test captures ahead of Cygnus' arrival

Just some of Orbital-2's cargo include 28 Cubesats, which are small, inexpensive satellites that can be used for Earth imaging and disaster monitoring. Also on board is a satellite related investigation, and some student experiments that will be unpacked by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, further enhancing the station's scientific and technological capabilities.

Cygnus is expected to remain docked to the station for around a month, before being unberthed and released by Canadarm2, destined for a fiery demise by burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.

This is Irish Space Blog.