Image above: Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter, with its prominent cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays, is pictured approaching the International Space Station on Feb. 21, 2022. Image Credit: NASA.
The Cygnus spacecraft launched Monday on an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia at 5:32 a.m. 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 (3719,457 Kg) of scientific investigations and cargo to the orbiting laboratory.
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NG-18 S.S. Sally Ride Cygnus capture
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.
Image above: The Cygnus cargo craft is pictured moments after being captured with the Canadarm2 robotic arm controlled by NASA astronaut Nicole Mann. Image Credit: NASA TV.
At 5:20 a.m. EST, 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. 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.
Image above: Nov. 9, 2022: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are parked at the space station including the Cygnus space freighter, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance and Russia’s Soyuz MS-22 crew ship and the Progress 81 and 82 resupply ships. Image Credit: NASA.
NG-18 S.S. Sally Ride Cygnus berthing
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft installation on the International Space Station is now complete. NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, along with NASA astronaut Josh Cassada as backup, captured Cygnus using the Canadarm2 robotic arm.
Cygnus will remain at the space station until late January before it departs for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.