VIDEO: Orbital ATK Cygnus Cargo Ship Bolted To International Space Station For Three Month Stay

By  //  April 23, 2017

capsule contains over 3 tons of supplies for crew

ABOVE VIDEO: Back in December, the three days after its launch atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft arrived at the International Space Station with more than three tons of supplies and experiments to the station residents. See how they captured the craft then and this past week. (NASA video)

(NASA) – The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 8:39 a.m. EDT on Saturday morning.

The ISS Crew entered the craft later in the day on Saturday.

The spacecraft will spend about three months on station before it is released in July for a destructive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash.

The spacecraft’s arrival brings more than 7,600 pounds of research and supplies to support Expedition 51 and 52. Some of the research on board includes:

  • In microgravity, cancer cells grow in 3-D, spheroid structures that closely resemble their form in the human body, enabling better tests for drug the efficacy. The ADCs in Microgravity investigation tests drugs designed as targeted cancer therapies called antibody-drug conjugates, developed by Oncolinx.
  • The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) investigation originally was operated successfully aboard the station in 2002. Updated software, data acquisition, high definition video and communication interfaces will help advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. Investigations such as the CLYC Crystal Growth experiment will be conducted in the SUBSA Furnace and inserts. High-quality crystals are essential to a variety of applications, and a microgravity environment can produce better quality crystals.
  • The Thermal Protection Material Flight Test and Reentry Data Collection (RED-Data2) investigation studies a new type of recording device that rides alongside a spacecraft as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere, recording data about the extreme conditions it encounters. Scientists, so far, have been unable to monitor those conditions on a large scale, and a better understanding could lead to more accurate spacecraft breakup predictions, better spacecraft designs, and materials capable of better resisting the extreme heat and pressure during the return to Earth.
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Prior to re-entry in late July, the Cygnus spacecraft will also host the third Spacecraft Fire Experiment, or SAFFIRE, to study how fire burns in microgravity.

Data from these experiments will help inform the development of future crew spacecraft.


ABOVE VIDEO: On April 18, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo space craft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance rocket, on Orbital ATK’s seventh resupply mission to the International Space Station. (NASA video)