NASA and its International Space Station partners have approved a Sunday, Sept. 29, target arrival of Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft on its demonstration cargo resupply mission to the space station.
NASA Television coverage of the rendezvous will begin at 4:30 a.m. EDT (Sunday, 4:30 p.m. Philippine time) and will continue through the capture and installation of the Cygnus spacecraft.
4:30 a.m. – Cygnus rendezvous, grapple and berthing coverage begins on NASA Television.
7:15 a.m. – Grapple of Cygnus by International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm
9:15 a.m. – Cygnus berthing to Earth-facing port of Harmony node begins
~11:20 a.m. – Cygnus berthing complete (2nd stage capture)
Live streaming of the events here. To viewers just mouse click on the play button to proceed watching feed. Link is always on and view current program.
Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., launched the Cygnus spacecraft on the company’s Antares rocket Sept. 18 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
International Space Station Expedition 37 crew members Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will capture the spacecraft using the space station’s robotic arm. They then will install Cygnus on the bottom of the station’s Harmony module.
Cygnus will deliver about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including student experiments, food and clothing, to the space station. Future Cygnus flights will ensure a robust national capability to deliver critical science research to orbit, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new science investigations to the only laboratory in microgravity.
Cygnus had been scheduled for a rendezvous with the space station on Sept. 22. Due to a data format mismatch, the first rendezvous attempt was postponed. NASA says Cygnus rendezvous delayed for 48 hours) Orbital has since updated and tested a software patch. Cygnus’ arrival also was postponed pending the Sept. 25 arrival of the Expedition 37 crew. Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins of NASA and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) arrived at the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The updated Sunday rendezvous and approach will include originally planned tests to validate Cygnus’ performance as it approaches the space station.
Orbital built and is testing Cygnus under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program. The successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission will pave the way for Orbital to conduct eight planned cargo resupply flights to the space station through NASA’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company. (This is a reposting sourced from NASA)