Less than 48 hours after launching from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, the NG-12 Cygnus cargo spacecraft from Northrop Grumman has arrived at the International Space Station.
The mission is debuting critical new capabilities for NASA as part of the CRS2 (Commercial Resupply Services 2) cargo contract, including payload late-load at the launch pad, in-flight experiment communication with the ground, and the ability to dispose of external cargo elements from the Station.
NG-12 arrives at Station:
Following a flawless launch right on time at 09:59:47 EDT (13:59:47 UTC) on Saturday morning, the NG-12 Cygnus vehicle has enjoyed a smooth ride up to the International Space Station, raising its orbit from its initial 183 x 270 km insertion orbit up to the 413 x 425 km orbit of the International Space Station.
After a standard approach, Cygnus held 10 m away from the orbital outpost, allowing NASA astronauts Dr. Jessica Meir and Christina Koch to grab hold of it with Canadarm2.
Now firmly grasped by the Station’s arm, Dr. Meir and Koch will spend the next few hours repositioning Cygnus for berthing to Node-1 nadir’s (Earth-facing port) Common Berthing Mechanism on the Unity module.
Once berthed, the Station ...