Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cygnus leaves ISS

A private cargo ship built by Orbital Sciences left the International Space Station and will re-enter the atmosphere Wednesday and self-destruct. Unlike the Dragon spacecraft of SpaceX, Cygnus is designed to burn up upon re-entry. It has been loaded with items no longer needed at the ISS. The unmanned spaceship attached itself to the ISS on September 29, the first successful resupply flight by Orbital Sciences. Dragon was the first private company to successfully dock with ISS. Both companies have billion-dollar NASA contracts to deliver cargo to the ISS on multiple missions over the coming years. Cygnus launched Sept. 18 atop an Antares rocket. (Sources: Space Travel, 10/21/13, NBC, 10/22/13) Previous: Cygnus docks with ISS. Gulf Coast note: The Antares is powered by AJ-26 engines tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss.