Fifteen CubeSats owned by NASA, Spire Global, and U.S. research institutions launched aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship in May have been released into orbit, beginning missions to demonstrate miniaturized, low-cost Earth science instruments and join a commercial network of weather-monitoring nanosatellites.
A commercial Cygnus resupply craft that received a new corporate owner while berthed at the International Space Station — thanks to Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK in June — departed the research complex Sunday. The supply ship was released by Canadarm 2 on the space station at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT).
An Orbital ATK Antares rocket streaked into orbit early Monday from Wallops Island, Virginia, with a commercial Cygnus cargo craft carrying a quantum research experiment, an investigation into the properties of concrete in space, fresh food and other provisions for the International Space Station’s six-person crew.
Three days after launching from the Virginia coastline, an Orbital ATK Cygnus supply ship completed its final approach to the International Space Station on Thursday with more than 7,000 pounds of cargo and experiments. The automated freighter was captured by the station’s robotic arm at 5:26 a.m. EDT (0926 GMT).
Orbital ATK readied an upgraded Antares rocket for launch Monday from Wallops Island, Va., to deliver more than 3 tons of crew supplies, science gear, spare parts and three small satellites to the International Space Station to test miniaturized, low-cost technologies for Earth observation applications.