S.S. Alan Poindexter Spacecraft Delivers More Than 5,300 Pounds of
Cargo to the Orbiting Laboratory Including Crew Supplies and Scientific
Cygnus Begins Month-long Stay at the Orbiting Laboratory
DULLES, Va.Oct. 23, 2016--
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that the S.S. Alan Poindexter CygnusTM
spacecraft successfully completed its rendezvous and berthing procedures
with the International Space Station earlier today. This marks the
company s sixth successful berthing with the orbiting laboratory, and
the fifth under NASA s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) contract.
An Orbital ATK AntaresTM medium-class rocket launched Cygnus
into orbit on October 17, 2016 marking the return of flight operations
to NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. Over the
past several days, Cygnus executed a series of thruster burns to raise
its orbit and reach the space station. Once Cygnus was in close
proximity to the station, crew members grappled Cygnus with the
station s robotic arm at 7:28 a.m. (EDT). The spacecraft was then guided
to its berthing port on the bottom of the Unity module of the station
where installation concluded at 10:53 a.m. (EDT).
While all of our missions are important to us, the OA-5 mission is
distinct and special to the entire Orbital ATK team, said Frank
Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK s Space Systems Group. It marked
the return to our home base of operations at the Mid-Atlantic Regional
Spaceport, where we launched our Cygnus spacecraft atop our upgraded
Antares vehicle to deliver critical cargo to the International Space
Station. Following our departure from the station, we will again use
Cygnus as a platform to conduct scientific experiments for key
Culbertson added, To mark so many milestones via one mission represents
the tremendous accomplishments of our team. This mission is also special
because we named it in honor of an outstanding astronaut, Alan
Poindexter, who participated in the construction of the International
Space Station on two separate missions.
Cygnus arrived at the station with 5,300 pounds (2,400 kilograms) of
cargo, including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts, packaging
materials, laboratory equipment and scientific experiments. The crew
will open the Cygnus hatch and make initial ingress into its cargo
module as early as today or later in the week to begin the process of
unloading the pressurized cargo. Cygnus will remain berthed at the
station for approximately one month before departing with close to 4,000
pounds (1,800 kilograms) of disposable cargo.
For the OA-5 mission, Cygnus will conduct two secondary payload missions
as part of its flight program, demonstrating its versatility in
performing scientific experiments in space. Both payload experiments
will be conducted following departure from the International Space
Station. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment-II (Saffire-II) will study the
behavior of large scale fires in microgravity. The payload will
intentionally light a fire in the pressurized cargo module that will
grow and advance until it burns itself out. Data from this experiment
will be downloaded via telemetry. In addition, using a NanoRacks
deployer, the S.S. Alan Poindexter will release several cubesats used
for weather forecasting. Upon completion of these secondary payload
missions, Cygnus will conduct a controlled, safe, destructive reentry
over the Pacific Ocean.
The Cygnus system consists of a common service module and pressurized
cargo module. The service module was built and tested at Orbital ATK s
manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The enhanced Cygnus also
uses Orbital ATK s UltraFlexTM solar arrays, which are the
latest in lightweight, space-qualified, electrical power technology. The
arrays were manufactured at Orbital ATK s Goleta, California facility.
Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver
approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the ISS over
10 missions through 2018. Upon completion, Orbital ATK will carry out a
minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA s CRS-2 contract. The
partnership is cultivating a robust American commercial space industry,
freeing NASA to focus on developing the next-generation rocket and
spacecraft that will enable humans to conduct deep space exploration
B-roll and animation footage for the 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 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK, Inc.
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