An Orbital ATK-built Cygnus spacecraft has arrived at the International Space Station to deliver approximately 7,600 pounds of crew supplies, food, clothing, spare parts, scientific experiments and laboratory equipment.
The S.S. John Glenn spacecraft reached ISS Saturday and completed berthing procedures days after its April 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket to mark Orbital ATK’s seventh cargo delivery mission to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services 1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK said Saturday.
Frank Culbertson, president of Orbital ATK’s space systems group, said the OA-7 mission marks the firm’s fourth journey to the ISS in a year and the third time the company will use Cygnus as a platform for scientific experiments.
Astronauts captured the space vehicle at 6:05 a.m. Eastern time through the use of a robotic arm and maneuvered the spacecraft to the Nadir berthing port on the space laboratory’s Unity module that concluded at 8.39 a.m. Eastern time.
Cygnus will stay at the ISS for three months before it launches the Saffire-III payload experiment that aims to study the behavior of fire in microgravity, deploys four CubeSats for use in ship tracking and weather monitoring operations, fields three Reentry Data Collection Flight Recorders and leaves for Earth with approximately 3,300 pounds of disposable cargo.
Orbital ATK is scheduled to perform two more CRS flights this year and plans to use its Antares rockets to launch such missions from the space agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.