A business cargo ship loaded along with nearly 1. 5 plenty of provides and gear was captured from the International Area Station's robotic arm early Sunday and attached with a docking port, wrapping up a complicated however problem-free rendezvous.
The actual Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo craft, launched Thursday from Wallops Island, Va., was captured by arm operator Mike Hopkins in 6 : 08 a. m. EST (GMT-5) like the 2 spacecraft sailed 260 miles higher than the actual Indian Ocean. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata then maneuvered the actual spacecraft towards the Earth-facing port from the forward Harmony module exactly in which motorized bolts locked it into location in 8 : 05 a. m.
Named following the late astronaut and check pilot C. Gordon Fullerton, the actual Cygnus cargo ship is filled with 2, 780 pounds of spare elements, crew provides and experiment hardware, as well as 23 experiments involving greater than 8, 600 elementary, junior higher and highschool students inside the United States and Canada.
An " ants in area " payload can offer students and chance to study behavioral differences in among ants in normal gravity and people inside the weightless environment of area. Some other experiments can study the actual biology of drug-resistant bacteria and just how liquids simulating rocket fuel slosh about in weightlessness.
Together with on-board science, the actual Cygnus is delivering greater than 2 dozen tiny " cubesat " satellites, as well as a fleet of 23 " Dove " satellites constructed by Planet Labs of San Francisco that could monitor the worldwide environment.
A crowd-funded cubesat provided by Southern Stars, additionally of San Francisco, can enable the general public to transmit " tweets from area " that may be picked up by amateur radio operators. Users additionally can ask for Earth images coming from the satellite.
Additionally on board : belated holiday gifts to the station crew. The actual Cygnus capsule originally was scheduled for release prior to Christmas, however the actual flight was pushed into January when NASA ran into issues using the area station's cooling method.
This is actually the first operational station resupply mission performed by Orbital Sciences with a $1. 9 billion contract along with NASA calling for a minimum of eight flights and delivery of 40, 000 pounds of cargo and provides.
The actual Cygnus captured Sunday can stay linked with the area station till mid February. In which purpose SpaceX can stage up along with release of the Dragon cargo ship about Feb. 22. It is going to be the actual third operational resupply flight by SpaceX, that holds a $1. 6 billion contract to provide greater than 44, 000 pounds of provides more than a dozen missions.