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Cygnus spacecraft arrives at space station with 8,200 pounds of cargo
Cygnus spacecraft arrives at space station with 8,200 pounds of cargo
by Clyde Hughes
Washington DC (UPI) Feb 1, 2024

The International Space Station received more than 8,200 pounds of supplies and science experiments on Thursday after Northrup Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft successfully docked with the orbiting laboratory.

NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara snared the spaceship with the ISS's robotic arm to complete the docking with fellow astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli serving as a backup, NASA said.

Cygnus launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Tuesday for its ride to the space station.

One of the numerous experiments taken to the space station will be the testing of 3D printing in space, particularly making small metal products in microgravity. The test could be useful in long-term trips to the moon and Mars where running out to the hardware store may prove difficult.

"This investigation provides us with an initial understanding of how such a printer behaves in space," said the European Space Agency's Rob Postema, according to Space.com. "A 3D printer can create many shapes, and we plan to print specimens, first to understand how printing in space may differ from printing on Earth.

"Second, to see what types of shapes we can print with this technology. In addition, this activity helps show how crewmembers can work safely and efficiently with printing metal parts in space."

Thursday's arrival marked the 20th Northrop Grumman trip to the International Space Station.

The Cygnus will stay attached to the ISS until May when it will back toward Earth and burn up in the atmosphere.

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