Wallops Island, Virginia – The Cygnus cargo ship manufactured by Northrop Grumman lifted off from Virginia on Saturday (February 20) to transport important supplies of astronauts on the International Space Station.
Parked on a two-stage Antares rocket Cygnus NG-15 spacecraft Launched from Pad 0A at NASA’s mid-Atlantic spaceport. Wallops flight facility 12:36 pm Eastern Daylight Time (1736 Greenwich Mean Time).
The ship’s towing force exceeds 8,200 pounds. (3,719 kg) of cargo, including scientific equipment, fresh food and supplies for the seven astronauts on the space station. It is also equipped with new hardware and spacewalk equipment.
At the beginning of the planned 5-minute window, the 1
video: Watch the Antares rocket launch of NG-15 Cygnus!
related: Private Antares Rocket & Cygnus explained (infographic)
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The mission of NG-15 is Northrop Grumman Since 2014, the 15th fighter has been supplied to the space station for launch, marking the fourth fighter “Antares” flying in a 230+ configuration.
The first stage of the rocket is powered by two Russian-made RD-181 engines, which are fueled by rocket-grade kerosene and generate 864,000 pounds of thrust during takeoff. The first stage of the flight was only three minutes away from the upper stage of the rocket.
Soon thereafter, the payload fairing was abandoned, exposing Cygnus to space. Cygnus is driven by solid fuel, is stored in its preliminary orbit, and is ready to begin its journey to the space station. The cargo ship will spend two days chasing the orbital post and then dock it to the station with the help of a robotic arm.
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Space Exploration Agency will capture the ship at 4:40 AM Eastern Time (0940 GMT) on Monday (February 22). NASA astronaut Mike Hopkin Sri Lanka will serve as a backup. The spacecraft will stay at the station for about three months, after which it will detach by itself and burn when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
Northrop Grumman (Northrop Grumman) produces both the Antares rocket and the Cygnus spacecraft. The company’s tradition is named after a fallen hero who has made a significant contribution to human aerospace.
In this case, the company chose to honor the late Catherine Johnson, He died a year ago at the age of 101 On February 24, 2020, Johnson worked as a man-machine, and his trajectory calculation was critical to NASA’s early success in human spaceflight (especially Glenn’s orbital flight).
“According to our tradition, each Cygnus is named after an individual who played a pivotal role in human space flight, and Mrs. Johnson was selected as her handwritten transcript, which helped the first Americans to enter space and her Achievements in breaking the glass ceiling Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager of tactical space at Nov Grumman, said Friday (February 19).
In the years after his retirement, Johnson worked in “Hidden characters,” Then Movie of the same name Taraji P. Hensen (Taraji P. Hensen) plays Johnson (Johnson). Johnson received the Congressional Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal from President Barack Obama for his work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
related: NASA dedicated to the facility of mathematician Katherine Johnson
Hidden in the constellation Cygnus is a series of time-sensitive goods, including fresh food for the space station astronauts. In a briefing before the press conference on Friday, NASA officials stated that they will distribute some snacks for the crew of Expedition 64, including salmon, hard sausage, Parmesan cheese, caramel hard candy and other perishable items.
David Brady, deputy project scientist of the International Space Station, said before the launch: “We want to make the crew happy because happy crew members are scientific productivity masters.”
There is also a salt water processor component inside Cygnus for the water circulation system of the space station. Convert urine into fresh drinking water. NASA said that this new processor will allow more water to be recovered from urine than the existing equipment currently used. The agency said that this is key hardware that will help meet future long-term missions to the moon and Mars.
NASA officials wrote in a report: “Long-term crew exploration missions require a water recovery rate of about 98%, and there is currently no state-of-the-art technology for salt water processing that can help achieve this goal.” Fact Sheet. “This salt water processor system plans to close the gap in the urine flow of the space station.”
The equipment uses a special membrane to separate the pollutants in the brine, so that the water vapor flows into the cabin atmosphere, and the condenser captures it and filters it into the water system of the station.
A new cabin will also be provided on the Cygnus for the Expedition 64 crew. There are currently five astronauts in the U.S. market, four of which were Crew-1 astronauts launched on the SpaceX Crew Dragon in November, and Kate Rubins flew to the Soyuz in October last year ( Soyuz), there are only four sleeping stations. Since its launch in November, Crew Dragon Commander Hopkins has been sleeping in the capsule. Three Russian astronauts drove the staff of the gas station away.
Cygnus is also shipping spare parts and equipment for space station toilets, as well as equipment for the upcoming spacewalk.
A series of research experiments triggered by the NG-15 mission will enable researchers to better understand how microgravity affects the human body and the manufacturing process.A survey will study Protein-based artificial retina At the station.
The experiment, designed by LambdaVision, will use a layer-by-layer process to create an artificial retina in space. The hope is that the “retina” can then be implanted in the eyes of patients suffering from degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration.
A high-tech experiment is Interstellar Computer 2, This is a cooperation between HP (HPE) and Microsoft, aiming to introduce cloud computing and artificial intelligence technology to the International Space Station.Microsoft will link its Azure space platform To the computer to “provide edge computing and [artificial intelligence] According to HPE.
Another experiment will measure the muscle strength of multiple generations of worms to better understand the biological changes that occur during space flight. The experiment led by Siva Vanapalli will study the changes in the muscle strength of worms over time during space flight.
Approximately 1,000 worm larvae are being stuffed into Cygnus on the way as part of the space station. Micro 16 survey. Once they reach their destination, these worms will produce many offspring during the journey, allowing researchers to observe multiple generations. They also sent a device called NemaFlex, which is designed to measure the force exerted by the worm.
Vanapalli hopes that the device will enable the research team to measure changes in the strength of worms, which is beneficial to drug development and helps researchers improve the health of astronauts.
There are also some student experiments on Cygnus, including the Magnitude.io experiment, which will use bitmoji stickers to help students participate in STEM projects. this experiment, Called ExoLab 8, Is the eighth survey sent by Magnitude.io to the space station.
Task participants (including students from kindergarten to university) will try to grow red clover plants in homes and classrooms as a ground control experiment and compare them with similar plants growing in space.
The online event will be hosted by Teacher Astro_moji (Linwood Elementary School Technical Teacher, Lisa Turney). Her portrait will be turned into an emoji, taught to students from space through emoji avatars. The experiment will rely on SpaceTango CubeLab, which will promote plant growth.
Ted Tagami, CEO of Magnitude.io, said: “We are taking distance learning to a whole new level: an orbital classroom 250 miles from the earth.” Wrote in the press release. “Although this epidemic has ruined many learning experiences, our mission participants will still remember the year when they entered space in 2021.”
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