Three months after its arrival at the International Space Station, the NG-10 Cygnus, named S.S. John Young, has departed the Station with it 5,500 lb (2,494 kg) of trash and disposable equipment. The S.S. John Young will now spend an additional 17 days in orbit performing a post-ISS nanosatellite deployment mission before conducting a destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere on Monday, 25 February.
The 10th contracted resupply flight of Cygnus to the International Space Station was the first to fly completely under the banner of Northrop Grumman, which acquired Orbital ATK in June 2018 during the then-ongoing OA-9E Cygnus mission.
Cygnus is no stranger to flying under multiple company names. First built by Orbital Sciences as part of the initial round of Commercial Resupply Services for NASA to the International Space Station, the first Cygnus missions – the demonstration flight and resupply flights Orb-1, -2, and -3 – all flew under the Orbital Sciences flag.
After the Orb-3 mishap on 28 October 2014, Orbital Sciences and ATK – another NASA stalwart – merged to create Orbital ATK. Subsequent Cygnus flights OA-4 through OA-8E all flew as part of that joint company.
The OA-9E Cygnus became a standout ...