Update: Ground Controllers Install Cygnus on Station
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft installation on the International Space Station is now complete. Cygnus, carrying over 8,200 pounds of cargo and science experiments, launched atop an Antares rocket at 5:32 a.m. EST (2:32 a.m. PST) on Monday, November 7 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At 5:20 a.m., NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, along with NASA astronaut Josh Cassada as backup, captured Cygnus using the Canadarm2 robotic arm.
Cygnus also is delivering a new mounting bracket that astronauts will attach to the starboard side of the station’s truss assembly during a spacewalk planned for November 15. The mounting bracket will enable the installation of one of the next pairs of new solar arrays.
Cygnus will remain at the space station until late January before it departs for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, with NASA astronaut Josh Cassada acting as backup, captured Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft using the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm at 5:20 a.m. EST (2:20 a.m. PST) on November 9, 2022. Mission control in Houston will actively command the arm to rotate Cygnus to its installation orientation and then to guide it in for installation on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port.
The spacecraft was able to rendezvous with International Space Station (ISS) successfully, despite the deployment of only one of its two solar arrays.
The Cygnus spacecraft launched on Monday, November 7 atop a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia at 5:32 a.m. After successfully reaching orbit, it was only able to deploy one of its two solar arrays. NASA and Northrop Grumman made the determination not to deploy the second solar array after initial attempts to deploy it were unsuccessful, in order to remain focused on the spacecraft’s arrival at the ISS. The Cygnus cargo spacecraft completed four rendezvous burns on its way to the ISS.
With just the single solar array, Cygnus still has sufficient power to rendezvous with the space station on Wednesday, November 9. Northrop Grumman is working closely with NASA to monitor and assess the spacecraft ahead of tomorrow’s planned arrival, capture, and installation at the space station. Mission teams also are planning additional inspections of the cargo spacecraft during approach and after capture.
This is Northrop Grumman’s 18th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a supply of 8,200 pounds of scientific investigations and cargo to the orbiting laboratory.
The spacecraft is named the S.S. Sally Ride in honor of the late NASA astronaut, physicist, and first American woman to fly in space.