A Flawless and Record-Setting Mission for the S.S. John Glenn
Cygnus Performs as Research Platform for a Third Time Continuing to
Demonstrate the Spacecraft s Versatility and Flexibility
DULLES, VirginiaJun. 11, 2017--
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that its S.S. John Glenn Cygnus
spacecraft successfully completed its seventh cargo logistics mission to
the International Space Station under NASA s Commercial Resupply
Services (CRS-1) contract. The mission also marked the third time that
Cygnus was used as a research platform for conducting in-space research
with all mission objectives executed as planned.
Our departure from the International Space Station six weeks ahead of
schedule once again proves Orbital ATK s versatility, flexibility and
dedication to our NASA customer, said Frank Culbertson, President of
Orbital ATK s Space Systems Group. The flawless completion of our
fourth cargo delivery trip in a little more than a year demonstrates our
commitment to deliver mission success and represents a fitting tribute
to the life and accomplishments of one of the great American heroes of
our time, John Glenn. We are proud to have flown the S.S. John Glenn in
The OA-7 mission officially concluded on June 11 at approximately 1:38
p.m. EDT when Cygnus performed a safe, destructive reentry into the
Earth s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.
Cygnus was launched on April 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in
Florida. Four days later, the spacecraft arrived at the International
Space Station and delivered approximately 7,600 pounds (3,450 kilograms)
of cargo to the astronauts. The cargo included a NanoRacks CubeSat
deployer, food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts, packaging
materials and laboratory equipment.
The spacecraft remained docked for 44 days and departed the space
station on June 4 carrying approximately 4,300 pounds (1,950 kilograms)
of items for disposal, a new record for Cygnus.
Upon departing the space station and clearing its orbit, the S.S. John
Glenn successfully completed phase two of the OA-7 mission serving as
a platform to advance research in space, independent of the orbiting
laboratory. It conducted the Spacecraft Fire Experiment-III
(Saffire-III), deployed four CubeSats into orbit and initiated an
experiment to analyze what happens to a spacecraft during reentry into
Earth s atmosphere.
Designed by NASA s Glenn Research Center and funded by NASA s Advanced
Exploration Systems Division, Saffire-III was the third in a series of
tests that studied how large-scale fires behave in microgravity. Cygnus
has hosted the entire series of Saffire experiments to date.
The four CubeSats were released into orbit using a NanoRacks deployer.
The spacecraft boosted its altitude to 481 kilometers before releasing
the satellites into orbit. This action increases the on-orbit lifespan
of the satellites to approximately seven years, compared to only three
years had they been deployed from the International Space Station. Now
in their intended positions, the satellites will assist in global ship
The final experiment utilized three Reentry Data Collection Flight
Recorders to obtain data showcasing the extreme conditions a spacecraft
encounters when reentering Earth s atmosphere. It also tested the
performance of different heat shield materials that may be used on
future U.S. space missions.
Pending NASA s specific cargo needs, Orbital ATK is prepared to launch
two additional CRS missions this year aboard the company s Antares
rockets from NASA s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
B-roll and animation footage for the OA-7 mission can be found here: http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/bmc/#.
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About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs approximately 12,500 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Kristen Basham, 703-404-7476
Systems Group Public Relations
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor Relations