Science and Nature

Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship departs affirm keep to habits experiment in orbit

The Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship NG-16 is leaves the International Space Station in this view from an exterior camera on the orbiting lab captured on Nov. 20, 2021.

The Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship NG-16 is leaves the World Residence Put in this appreciate from an exterior camera on the orbiting lab captured on Nov. 20, 2021.
(Image credit ranking: NASA TV)

The latest Cygnus cargo ship departed the World Residence Put Saturday (Nov. 20) after sending a haul of cargo to the orbiting crew.

The Northrop Grumman NG-16 resupply vessel was once released from the grip of the keep’s robotic arm at 11: 01 a.m. EST (1601 GMT) by a verbalize from NASA’s Mission Defend watch over Heart in Houston as every spacecraft sailed high over the South Pacific Ocean. The Cygnus spacecraft floated away from the World Residence Put beneath the supervision of Matthias Maurer, an astronaut of the European Residence Company on the keep’s Expedition 66 crew.

Video: Gaze astronauts desire Cygnus NG-16 in orbit

Cygnus will spend quite a lot of weeks in affirm earlier than being directed to re-enter the ambiance on Dec. 15. All the blueprint through that point, ground controllers will deploy the Kentucky Re-Entry Probe Experiment, the latest in a series of independent experiments that dawdle in some unspecified time in the future of the outdated few weeks of Cygnus missions.

This new experiment will “demonstrate a thermal safety intention for spacecraft and their contents in some unspecified time in the future of re-entry in Earth’s ambiance, which is in a position to be advanced to replicate in ground simulations,” NASA acknowledged in a press delivery.

Cygnus arrived at the ISS on Aug. 12 hauling its supreme shipping yet, with four a total bunch stuff. The Cygnus offer ship was once christened the S.S. Ellison Onizuka in honor of the first Asian American astronaut Ellison Onuzuka, who was once killed along with six others within the Challenger shuttle anguish in 1986.

The spacecraft arrived with bigger than 8,200 lbs. (3,720 kilograms) of offers, equipment and experiments, the supreme ever cargo shipping to the keep by a Cygnus spacecraft. The shipping integrated new hardware, a carbon dioxide scrubber for guaranteeing breathable air, and equipment for the keep’s upgraded checklist voltaic arrays. Experiments integrated a slime mildew (a brainless blob) and two payloads to glimpse human muscle cells in affirm.

The mission was once the 15th operational resupply delivery to the affirm keep by Northrop Grumman since 2014. Earlier launches fill been overseen by Orbital Sciences and Orbital ATK, which Northrop Grumman later purchased. 

“The Cygnus intention has developed from being correct sort a cargo shipping carrier to a high performing science platform,” acknowledged Northrop Grumman’s Steve Krein, vice president, civil and industrial affirm, tactical affirm programs, acknowledged in a press delivery. “We proceed to originate these capabilities to consist of the set up of environmental administration programs and other upgrades to enhance the lunar orbiting Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO.” 

The HALO finishing up is a habitation module for NASA’s deliberate Gateway affirm keep around the moon for future Artemis astronauts. Northrop Grumman is the spend of its experience with Cygnus to assemble the HALO module. 

The next U.S. cargo ship to consult with with the affirm keep shall be a SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft, which is slated to delivery out in wearisome December.

Pronounce Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Pronounce us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb. 

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is indubitably one of many few Canadian journalists to tale usually on affirm exploration. She is the creator or co-creator of quite a lot of books on affirm exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Residence Experiences, and an M.Sc. from the same division. She moreover holds a bachelor of journalism stage from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her affirm-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college stage, and for government coaching colleges. To head searching out for her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.

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