Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















STATION NEWS
Orbital set to send resupply mission to space station
By Jean-Louis SANTINI
Washington (AFP) March 22, 2016


NASA partner Orbital ATK was readying to send its Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station on Tuesday, a resupply mission that will include an unprecedented fire experiment after the craft leaves the orbiting outpost.

The unmanned spacecraft is due to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket at 11:05 pm (0305 GMT Wednesday), the start of a 30-minute launch window.

There is a 90 percent chance that the weather will be favorable at the time of the planned launch, according to forecasts.

Cygnus is expected to enter into orbit about 20 minutes after liftoff and will reach the International Space Station on Saturday, where it will dock with the help of the station's robotic arm in a procedure due to start at about 1040 GMT, according to NASA.

The launch will mark Orbital's fifth supply mission to the orbiting laboratory, as part of a of a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to deliver necessities to the astronauts living in space.

It will be the second since December, which marked the resumption of the company's missions after an Orbital Antares rocket packed with thousands of pounds of supplies exploded seconds after takeoff in October 2014.

Orbital is due to carry out two other ISS resupply missions this year for NASA, with the next one to take place in early summer from the US space agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia with an Antares rocket.

Tuesday's launch will be the second flight to the ISS of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, which will carry 7,900 pounds (3.6 metric tons) of supplies to the station -- including food, water, clothes for the ISS crew of six astronauts, as well as material to support dozens of science and research probes.

"It's like Christmas when a supply craft arrives," said Orbital's Dan Tani, a former astronaut.

"It's always fun to watch another vehicle approach and then it's like opening a box of goodies and finding some stuff you've been wanting and some surprises you didn't know about."

- 'Crucial' fire test -

Cygnus will stay at the ISS until May. Loaded with trash and once it is at a safe distance from the station, NASA engineers will then set off a blaze inside the capsule to see how large flames behave in space.

NASA has set off tiny controlled fires in space in the past, but never tested how large flames react inside an orbiting space capsule.

"Understanding fire in space has been the focus of many experiments over the years... while many small, centimeter-sized fires have been lit in space before, to really understand fire, you've got to look at a more realistic size," said Gary Ruff, one of the engineers heading the experiment at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

"The investigation is crucial for the safety of current and future space missions."

The Cygnus cargo also includes an instrument, that, for the first time, will allow experts to evaluate, from space, the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth's atmosphere.

The pressurized vessel is also transporting a new 3D printer and another scientific highlight includes a so-called Gecko Gripper, a mechanism similar to the tiny hairs on the feet of geckos that makes it possible for them to stick to surfaces.

This technology could one day be used on the hands and feet of robots that would move along the exterior of spacecraft to carry out inspections and repairs.

.


Related Links
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
STATION NEWS
Three new members join crew of International Space Station
Baiknour, Kazakhstan (UPI) Mar 19, 2016
A Russian space craft delivered three new crew members to the International Space Station, bringing its crew size back up to six. NASA video shared on the International Space Station's Twitter page show Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin entering the space station along with astronaut Jeff Williams, a grandfather who became the first three-time, long-term resident of ... read more


STATION NEWS
Permanent Lunar Colony Possible in 10 Years

China to use data relay satellite to explore dark side of moon

NASA May Return to Moon, But Only After Cutting Off ISS

Lunar love: When science meets artistry

STATION NEWS
ExoMars probe imaged en route to Mars

New Gravity Map Gives Best View Yet Inside Mars

How the ExoMars mission could sniff out life on Mars

ExoMars on its way to solve the Red Planet's mysteries

STATION NEWS
NASA Selects American Small Business, Research Institution Projects for Continued Development

Broomstick flying or red-light ping-pong? Gadgets at German fair

Jacobs Joins Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

Accelerating discovery with new tools for next generation social science

STATION NEWS
China to establish first commercial rocket launch company

China's aim to explore Mars

China's ambition after space station

Sky is the limit for China's national strategy

STATION NEWS
Grandpa astronaut to break Scott Kelly's space record

Cygnus Set to Deliver Its Largest Load of Station Science, Cargo

Three new members join crew of International Space Station

Three new crew, including US grandpa, join space station

STATION NEWS
Launch of Dragon Spacecraft to ISS Postponed Until April

ILS and INMARSAT Agree To Future Proton Launch

Soyuz 2-1B Carrier Rocket Launched From Baikonur

ISRO launches PSLV C32, India's sixth navigation satellite

STATION NEWS
Most eccentric planet ever known flashes astronomers with reflected light

VLA shows earliest stages of planet formation

VLA observes earliest stages of planet formation

NASA's K2 mission: Kepler second chance to shine

STATION NEWS
The updated crystalline sponge method

International research team achieves controlled movement of skyrmions

Smart clothing of the future will automatically adjust itself

Light helps the transistor laser switch faster




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.