S.S. Gene Cernan Delivers Approximately 7,400 Pounds of Cargo and
Cygnus Spacecraft to Highlight Advanced Capabilities as In-Orbit
DULLES, Va.Nov. 14, 2017--
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced that the S.S. Gene Cernan CygnusTM
spacecraft successfully completed its rendezvous and berthing maneuvers
with the International Space Station earlier this morning. This marks
the company s eighth successful berthing with the orbiting laboratory.
The International Space Station s robotic arm is seen grappling Orbital ATK s Cygnus cargo spacecraft on November 14, 2017. Credit: NASA TV
Cygnus launched into orbit aboard an Orbital ATK Antares rocket at
NASA s Wallops Flight Facility on November 12. The spacecraft then
executed a series of thruster burns over the next couple of days to
raise its orbit and reach the space station. Once Cygnus was in close
range, crew members grappled the spacecraft with the station s robotic
arm at 5:04 a.m. (EST). Cygnus was then guided to its berthing port on
the nadir side of the station s Unity module and officially installed to
the space station at 7:15 a.m. (EST).
Today s flawless rendezvous and arrival at the International Space
Station signals the start of a busy month for Cygnus as the spacecraft
once again demonstrates its capability beyond cargo delivery and
removal, said Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK s Space
Systems Group. On this mission, the 'S.S. Gene Cernan' Cygnus will act
as an extension of the space station for the first time by supporting
science experiments inside the cargo module while docked to the
laboratory. Cygnus will then begin its secondary mission to deploy a
record number of cubesats that will further demonstrate the spacecraft s
versatility and flexibility for our customers.
Cygnus arrived at the station with approximately 7,400 pounds (3,350
kilograms) of cargo, supplies and scientific experiments. The crew is
now scheduled to open Cygnus hatch and make initial ingress into the
cargo module to begin unloading the pressurized cargo. Cygnus will
remain docked at the station for approximately three weeks before
departing on secondary missions.
During its stay at the orbiting laboratory, after demonstrating its
versatility as an in-orbit science platform, the spacecraft will be used
as an extension of the space station by hosting experiments that will be
conducted inside the Cygnus cargo module while attached to the space
station. Cygnus will be unberthed and when a safe distance from the
station, a NanoRacks deployer will release 14 Cubesats, a record number
for the spacecraft. Upon completion of these secondary missions, Cygnus
will perform a safe, destructive reentry into Earth s atmosphere over
the Pacific Ocean.
Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver
approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the
International Space Station. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will carry
out a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA s follow-on CRS-2
contract. This 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
In keeping with Orbital ATK s practice, the OA-8 spacecraft is named in
honor of the late space flight pioneer and Apollo 17 Astronaut Capt.
Gene Cernan. A veteran of one Gemini and two Apollo missions, Gene
Cernan set records for both lunar surface extravehicular activities and
longest time in lunar orbit paving the way for the future of human space
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 13,000 people across the U.S. and in several
international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Cygnus Media Contact:
Vicki Cox, 401-409-8723
Systems Group Public Relations
Barron Beneski 703-406-5528
Public and Investor