NASA has launched Orbital ATK‘s Cygnus spacecraft that will carry more than 7,000 pounds of cargo for delivery to the International Space Station.
The OA-6 mission launch from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station late Tuesday marks the company’s fifth operational mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program, the agency said Wednesday.
Cygnus is expected to dock with the orbiting laboratory on Saturday morning and astronaut Tim Kopra will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the cargo capsule.
The spaceship, also known as S.S. Rick Husband, is carrying scientific technology such as the Saffire-1, Meteor, Strata-1, Gecko Gripper and the Additive Manufacturing Facility as well as supplies and equipment that ISS crews can use to facilitate onboard experiments.
Orbital ATK said Wednesday the vehicle will remain attached to the space station for about two months before it departs for Earth with approximately 4,400 pounds of disposable items from ISS.
According to the company, Cygnus also aims to deploy five miniaturized satellites with cubesat deployer technology once it leaves ISS and to examine large-scale microgravity fire and the spacecraft’s re-entry breakup activity.