An Orbital ATK-built unmanned spacecraft is scheduled to launch Thursday afternoon on a mission to deliver about 7,300 pounds of scientific payload and crew equipment to the International Space Station.
The mission will mark Orbital ATK’s first cargo delivery mission to the orbital laboratory following the explosion of a company-made Antares rocket in October last year, and is also its fourth operational flight under the firm’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Cygnus OA-4 will carry various life science experiments, a microsatellite deployer, Microsoft‘s HoloLens virtual reality technology, SAFER safety jet pack and high-pressure oxygen and nitrogen tanks for ISS personnel, the space agency noted.
Orbital ATK said it nicknamed the spacecraft S.S. Deke Slayton II to honor one of the original astronauts in NASA’s Mercury Seven program.
The company aims to send Cygnus into orbit approximately 143 x 144 miles above Earth and expects the spacecraft to dock with the space station by Sunday.
The spacecraft is built to operate with multiple rockets and designed with lightweight solar arrays and propulsion systems and an upgraded service module structure.