A Northrop Grumman cargo resupply spacecraft departed the International Space Station on Tuesday after a four-month stay to deploy five miniature satellites for the vehicle’s secondary mission.
The company said Tuesday it expects the NG-15 Cygnus, nicknamed S.S. Katherine Johnson, to perform cubesat deployments while in orbit over a three-day period before the spacecraft returns back to Earth with 8,000 pounds of disposable cargo.
One of the cubesats in the mission is Dhabisat, which Khalifa University students developed through a joint space technology program of Northrop and United Arab Emirates-based company Al Yah Satellite Communications.
“With each mission, we grow our capabilities beyond cargo resupply as we operate a high-performing science laboratory for both civil and commercial companies during the secondary phase of our flight,” said Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager of Northrop’s tactical space systems business.
S.S. Katherine Johnson launched atop an Antares rocket on Feb. 20 and carried nearly 8,000 pounds of research, supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory.