Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE:OA) said the S.S. Rick Husband Cygnus spacecraft successfully completed its rendezvous and berthing procedures with the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this morning.
This marks the company´s fifth successful berthing with the orbiting laboratory, and the fourth under NASA´s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.
Cygnus launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on March 22 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The spacecraft completed a series of thruster firings and other maneuvers over the past few days to bring the spacecraft in close proximity to the ISS.
When it was approximately 30 feet from the ISS, crew members grappled Cygnus with the Station´s robotic arm at 6:51 a.m. (EDT). The spacecraft was then guided to its berthing port on the nadir side of the Unity module of the ISS where installation concluded at 10:52 a.m. (EDT).
The crew plans to open the Cygnus hatch and make initial ingress into its cargo module tomorrow to unload the cargo, including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts, laboratory equipment and scientific experiments. Cygnus will remain berthed at the ISS for approximately two months before departing with approximately 4,400 pounds (2,000 kilograms) of disposable cargo.
Orbital ATK provides aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier.