NG-15 Cygnus set to send new experiments to the space station – SpaceFlight Insider

Cargo is placed in the Northrop Grumman NG-15 Cygnus spacecraft for delivery to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Cargo is positioned within the Northrop Grumman NG-15 Cygnus spacecraft for supply to the Worldwide Area Station. Credit score: NASA

Northrop Grumman is ready to ship its NG-15 Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the Worldwide Area Station underneath NASA’s Industrial Resupply Companies contract.

Liftoff atop an Antares 230+ rocket is scheduled for 12:36 p.m. EST (17:36 UTC) Feb. 20, 2021, from Pad 0A on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

An Antares 230+ rocket stands in the vertical position at Pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Patrick Black

An Antares 230+ rocket stands within the vertical place at Pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit score: NASA/Patrick Black

That is the 15th Cygnus spacecraft to be launched underneath NASA’s Industrial Resupply Companies contracts and the 12th in an enhanced configuration.

The corporate continues the custom of naming every Cygnus for a person who “has performed a pivotal function in human spaceflight.”

Northrop Grumman has named the NG-15 spacecraft after NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose hand-written calculations have been very important to human spaceflight and the development of rocketry.

In line with NASA, there’s at present a 75% chance of acceptable weather circumstances for liftoff with floor winds and cumulus clouds being foremost issues for the Saturday launch.

Aboard the 15th Cygnus resupply mission is about 8,200 kilos (3,700 kilograms) of crew provides in addition to experiments that assist house exploration and goal to profit again on Earth.

An overview of what is aboard the NG-15 Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: Derek Richardson / Spaceflight Insider / Orbital Velocity

An summary of what’s aboard the NG-15 Cygnus spacecraft. Credit score: Derek Richardson / Spaceflight Insider / Orbital Velocity


An experiment with tiny worms, Micro-16, is trying to check their energy by measuring the pressure the tiny helpers exert as they push little rubber pillars round on a microscope slide.

The microscopic experiment may assist decide the reason for muscle weakening is house that astronauts expertise because of residing in a microgravity surroundings.

Outcomes from this simulation are anticipated to assist assist therapies that may assist growing old people on Earth in addition to astronauts residing in house.

The Goals experiment

A sleep monitor headband is one other fact-gathering device making its option to the ISS because the European Area Company takes a have a look at the standard of sleep for astronauts.

Since high quality of sleep is essential for all people, complete knowledge from this check hopes to make clear sleep length and different results microgravity could have on astronauts residing aboard the ISS in addition to a greater understanding of sleep in house on the whole.

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti floats inside a sleeping bag aboard the International Space Station in 2014. According to NASA, the new ESA Dreams experiment will provide a closer look at astronaut sleep in microgravity. Credit: NASA

European Area Company astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti floats inside a sleeping bag aboard the Worldwide Area Station in 2014. In line with NASA, the brand new ESA Goals experiment will present a more in-depth have a look at astronaut sleep in microgravity.
Credit score: NASA

Synthetic retina manufacturing

LamdaVison is launching an experiment to assist these on Earth that undergo from retinal degenerative illness.

The corporate is “evaluating a manufacturing system that makes use of a lightweight activated protein to interchange the operate of broken cells within the eye” and hopes to confirm findings that may assist manufacturing these new retinas in microgravity as helpful to proceed with processing in that surroundings.

Artemis HERA on Area Station

Another investigation launching aboard Cygnus is expounded to future Artemis missions to the Moon, together with Artemis 2, which is predicted to be the primary crewed deep house mission since 1972.

NASA needs to check the Hybrid Digital Radiation Assessor, or HERA, detection system and make sure it could function for 30 days with out errors. This technique was initially constructed for the Orion spacecraft however was modified for operation aboard the Worldwide Area Station.

Spaceborne Pc-2

A Spaceborne Pc examine launched to the ISS in 2017 ran an “off-the-shelf” laptop in house for 207 days with out having to reset the system.

Spaceborne Computer-2 seeks to construct on the success of its predecessor by proving that Earth-based knowledge processing may be duplicated in house with out sending all of the uncooked knowledge again to the bottom for evaluation.

The Spaceborne Computer-2 is pictured in advance of its launch to the ISS. Credit: NASA

The Spaceborne Pc-2 is pictured upfront of its launch to the ISS. Credit score: NASA

Brine processor system improve

The Environmental Management and Life Help System is a vital piece of {} that helps present for the restoration of water and water vapor on the ISS.

In line with NASA, as crewed missions enhance in length, the necessity to recuperate 98% of water is perfect and new expertise filtering out the brine and different contaminants from Urine Processor Meeting will assist fulfill the mission of recovering the urine waste stream.

The Actual-Time Protein Crystal Development 2 examine

Over 100,00 proteins maintain essential details about our well being and high-quality, high-protein crystals produced in microgravity are extra helpful as gravity on Earth can intervene with their development.

These higher-quality protein crystal buildings are carefully associated to its operate. Uncovering the connection between the 2 can result in a greater understanding of its operate and helps scientists produce medicine that will assist goal illness and the next remedy thereof.

Video courtesy of Orbital Velocity

Spending a number of months on the ISS

These are only a few of experiments heading towards the ISS aboard the NG-15 Cygnus spacecraft.

As soon as in orbit, the automobile will take about two days to achieve the outpost the place it’ll be captured by the Canadarm2 distant manipulator system and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Unity module.

A view of the previous Cygnus spacecraft following its departure in January 2021. Credit: NASA

A view of the earlier Cygnus spacecraft following its departure in January 2021. Credit score: NASA

As of proper now, seize by the robotic arm is slated for about 4:40 a.m. EST (09:40 UTC) Feb. 22, with berthing a number of hours later.

After the hatches between Unity and Cygnus are opened, the seven-person Expedition 64 crew will work to unload the spacecraft of its contents over its multi-month keep on the ISS.

Presently, NG-15 Cygnus is predicted to stay berthed till at the least Could earlier than being loaded with trash and unneeded gear.

On the conclusion of its resupply mission, it’ll be unberthed and commanded to depart the neighborhood of the outpost to carry out a post-ISS mission that features the deployment of a number of CubeSats by way of {hardware} by Nanoracks.

As soon as all the spacecraft’s duties are accomplished, it’ll be commanded to carry out a deorbit burn to destructively reenter Earth’s environment over the Southern Pacific Ocean.

One other Cygnus spacecraft, NG-16, is slated to launch later this yr, doubtlessly as early as July.

Video courtesy of Orbital Velocity


Theresa Cross grew up on the Area Coast. It’s solely pure that she would develop a ardour for something “Area” and its exploration. Throughout these adolescence, she additionally found that she possessed a expertise and love for outlining the distinctive quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines.

Hailing from a household of photographers—together with her father and her son, Theresa herself began documenting her world by means of footage at a really early age. As an grownup, she now reveals an innate photographic capability to mix what appeals to her coronary heart and her love of expertise to ship a diversified method to her work and inventive shows.

Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.



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