Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft is about to launch to the International Space Station.
However, the launch was then delayed; according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this was due to problems at the Mission Control Center.
The Cygnus dispatch to the ISS, nevertheless, was held today: at 05:32 am EST (13:32 Moscow time) launch vehicle Antares with a cargo ship on board launched from NASA’s Spaceport at Wallops Island off the Atlantic coast of Virginia. Incidentally, the first stage of the rocket is equipped with Russian RD-181 engines.
NASA has already announced that the docking of Cygnus with the station will be accomplished using the ISS remote manipulator arm Canadarm-2 and its connection to the U.S. module Unity. The docking will be accomplished by NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada. Now, in regard to the schedule shift, docking Cygnus with the ISS is expected to occur only on November 9.
Food and equipment for scientific research are included in the 3.5 tons of cargo that the cargo ship carries. The apparatus will stay in the air until January, when it will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, taking the station’s debris. NASA also stated that it plans to use the Cygnus engines to adjust the Isis orbit in June of this year. Though this was not initially successful, a test correction was able to be made.
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