Before the scheduled departure, the crew aboard the international space outpost would pack the spacecraft with the SharkSat hosted payload
The Cygnus spacecraft docked onto the ISS on October 5. (Image: NASA)
NASA Cygnus spacecraft: The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is set to telecast live the departure of the Cygnus spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS) on January 6 at 9:45 am EST. This means that the live telecast would begin in India at 8:15 pm. The spacecraft has been named in the memory of India-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who became the first woman of Indian descent to go to space. The departure would take place over three months after the spacecraft delivered supplies, commercial products, hardware, and scientific investigations along with other cargo to the ISS, with the total weight of the cargo being about 8,000 pounds or over 3,600 kgs.
Before the scheduled departure, the crew aboard the international space outpost would pack the spacecraft with the SharkSat hosted payload, several thousand pounds of trash, and the Saffire V investigation.
During departure, flight controllers from the Earth would robotically detach the spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of ISS’ Unity module with the help of commands, and then bring it into its place to be released from the robotic arm named Canadarm2. Once departed from the ISS, the spacecraft’s systems would be overseen by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
Cygnus would be conducting an extended orbit mission, during which it would be conducting experiments, and then would safely re-enter and burn up in the atmosphere of the Earth.
Cygnus spacecraft: What it delivered to the ISS
The Cygnus spacecraft docked onto the ISS on October 5. Among other things, the spacecraft brought with itself a new toilet for the astronauts aboard the space outpost. The toilet has better features and would improve the way future missions are handled. The compact toilet would reduce the footprint of waste in the Universe, allowing for an increase in the number of astronauts aboard the ISS.
It also took a new crop of vegetables to the ISS, to add radishes to the investigation on growing crops in space. At present, different types of greens and lettuce are already being grown at the space station, and with these seeds, the astronauts would observe how varying soil conditions and different light would affect the growth of the radishes.