SpaceX is likely to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket set for launch April 30 on a drone ship just off the coast of Cape Canaveral, not at the company’s onshore recovery site as originally planned, after a ground test of the company’s Crew Dragon capsule at the landing pad ended in an explosion Saturday.
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.