Cygnus cargo craft launch to space station: What's onboard?

The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:05 p.m. EDT on March 22, 2016. 

Cygnus cargo craft launch to space station: What's onboard?
Image credit: NASA/Tumblr

New Delhi: Orbital ATK successfully launched its Cygnus spacecraft late Tuesday aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:05 p.m. EDT on March 22, 2016.

According to NASA, scientific investigations of fire in microgravity and grippers inspired by geckos are among the nearly 7,500 pounds of cargo headed to the International Space Station (ISS), along with equipment to support some 250 other experiments and studies aboard the world’s only orbital laboratory.

Expeditions 47 and 48 crews will employ these science payloads to support experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.

Take a look at the experiments:

Saffire-I

Saffire 1

Saffire-I provides a new way to study a large fire on an exploration craft, which has not been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on spacecraft with astronauts aboard are too high.

Meteor

meteor

 

Meteor will enable the first space-based observations of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere from space.

Strata-I

strata 1

Strata-I could give us answers about how regolith behaves and moves in microgravity, how easy or difficult it is to anchor a spacecraft in regolith, how it interacts with spacecraft and spacesuit materials, and other important properties.

Gecko Gripper

gecko

The Gecko Gripper study tests a gecko-inspired adhesive gripping device that can stick on command in the harsh environment of space.

Additive Manufacturing Facility

 

Additive Manufacturing Facility

The Additive Manufacturing Facility will add an upgraded 3-D printing capability to the station.

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra will capture Cygnus at about 6:40 a.m. Saturday, March 26, using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft. ESA astronaut Tim Peake will support Kopra in a backup position. 

(Source: NASA/Tumblr)

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