Photo: Cygnus spacecraft
Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft on Wednesday berthed with the International Space Station, or ISS, delivering more than one ton of supplies, equipment and tools, NASA said.
“Cygnus was grappled at 6:36 a.m. as it flew within about 32 feet of the complex by Commander Steve Swanson - with assistance from Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst - as he controlled the 57-foot Canadarm2 from a robotics workstation inside the station’s cupola. Wiseman joined his crewmates in the seven-windowed cupola to assist with the capture and help coordinate the activities,” the U.S. space agency said.
The ISS was about 260 statute miles over northern Libya when it grappled the spacecraft.
This was the second cargo supply mission to the ISS carried out by Orbital under “a $1.9 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract. Orbital will fly at least eight cargo missions to the space station through 2016,” the space agency said.
The cargo ship will complete its mission to the ISS in August, when it will be filled with trash and detached from the Harmony module.
The spacecraft will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up, NASA said.
Cygnus was launched into orbit Sunday from the NASA facility at Wallops Island, on the Virginia coast, by an Antares rocket.