Racing against the clock to meet the Trump administration’s 2024 deadline to land astronauts on the moon, NASA plans to select Northrop Grumman to build a pressurized habitation module derived from the company’s Cygnus cargo craft for living quarters for crews transiting to and from the lunar surface.
NASA flight engineer Anne McClain grappled Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus supply ship with the International Space Station’s robotic arm Friday, marking the automated cargo freighter’s arrival after an abbreviated day-and-a-half-long journey from a launch pad in Virginia with nearly 7,600 pounds of experiments, food and provisions.
A commercial Cygnus cargo freighter packed with 3.8 tons of medical and pharmaceutical experiments, technology demonstration hardware, CubeSats and crew provisions rode an Antares rocket into orbit from Virginia’s Eastern Shore on Wednesday afternoon on the first leg of a day-and-a-half journey to the International Space Station.
A day-and-a-half after launching from Virginia aboard an Antares rocket, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship loaded with nearly 7,600 pounds of experiments and provisions arrived at the International Space Station on Friday. Astronaut Anne McClain captured the Cygnus spacecraft with the space station’s Canadian-built robotic arm at 5:28 a.m. EDT (0928 GMT).
The next Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station set for liftoff Wednesday from Virginia’s Eastern Shore will introduce new capabilities for the commercial cargo freighter, including a longer operating life enabled by fuel-saving gyroscopes to support an extended mission months after the spacecraft departs the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman officials said.