Cygnus cargo ship makes planned re-entry into Earth`s atmosphere
Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Orbital Sciences Corporation`s unmanned Cygnus cargo ship disintegrated Sunday morning as planned upon spectacular re-entry into Earth`s atmosphere after a month-long resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft, which was released from the orbiting lab on Friday at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), stayed in independent orbit for two days before firing its engines and pushing into Earth`s atmosphere.
The de-orbit burn had been scheduled to take just under 30 minutes.
The crew on board the space station ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian Cosmonaut Maxim Suraev documented the spacecraft`s plasma trail, posting pictures of the comet-like streak to Twitter.
The cargo ship Cygnus, bearing a load of 1,657 kilograms of gear, food and science experiments arrived at the ISS three days later after it was launched on July 13.
The resupply mission was part of a billion dollar contract with NASA for multiple journeys to the ISS.
Since the retirement of US space shuttle program in 2011, NASA has relied on commercial companies and foreign space agencies to keep the station supplied.
(With Agency Inputs)
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