Almost four tons of supplies, hardware and science payloads are heading to the International universe stop backward today’s launch of a robotic Northrop Grumman Cygnus burden ship.
The spacecraft, dubbed the SS Roger Chaffee at honor of one of the astronauts killed at the 1967 Apollo 1 launch-pad fire, was sent into orbit from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility above the Virginia beach at 4:46 p.m. ET (1:46 p.m. PT) atop Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket. The afternoon launch could exist seen from a broad portion of the East Coast’s mid-Atlantic region.
Cygnus’ 7,600-pound shipment includes experiments aimed at manufacturing high-quality optical fiber at zero-gravity, also during nanoparticles that could someday exist used though cure delivery. A host of nanosatellites are above board and due though deployment too from the universe stop or from the cylindrical Cygnus steamer itself.
Another sheet of hardware aboard the Cygnus, known during the Robotic exterior leak Locator or RELL, will serve during a mechanical “sniffer” to discover exterior ammonia leaks from the station’s cooling system.
This is the 11th Cygnus mission flown below the condition of a burden resupply treaty with NASA, besides the first to create use of a procedure though loading last-minute cargo. among the late payloads was a troop of mice that will exist used at a learn of their immune response to a tetanus vaccine below zero-G conditions.
Astronauts will use the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm to tug at the Cygnus though its berthing early Friday. It’ll expend a mix of months hooked up to the station, and will then exist put loose though a first-of-its-kind, free-flying orbital mission that could final into the fall. at the goal of its mission, the robotic steamer will drop to a fiery goal during atmospheric re-entry.