Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: December 3rd, 2015 is when NASA's commercial partner Orbital ATK has decided to launch its Cygnus spacecraft into the orbit.
The spacecraft known as CRS-4, will be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for its fourth contracted resupply mission and will deliver samples and equipments to the International Space Station which will aid them in research investigations that take place during current and future expeditions in the many science disciplines aboard the orbiting multi-disciplinary laboratory.
NASA listed all the research equipments that Cygnus will carry to the ISS, which included the Space Automated Bioproduct Lab (SABL), a single locker-sized facility that will enable a wide variety of fundamental, applied and commercial life sciences research, as well as K-16 education-based investigations aboard the space station.
CRS-4 will also carry the Packed Bed Reactor Experiment (PBRE). This investigation studies the behavior of gases and liquids when they flow simultaneously through a column filled with fixed porous media. The porous media or “packing” can be made of different shapes and materials that are used widely in chemical engineering as a means to enhance the contact between two unmixable fluid phases (e.g., liquid-gas, water-oil, etc.). Packed columns can serve as reactors, scrubbers, strippers, etc. in systems where efficient interphase contact is desired, both on Earth and in space.
According to NASA, the launch cargo, in addition, will include two Nodes satellites that will be deployed from the space station to demonstrate new network capabilities critical to the operation of swarms of spacecraft. They will demonstrate the ability of multi-spacecraft swarms to receive and distribute ground commands, exchange information periodically and autonomously configure a network by determining which spacecraft should communicate with the ground each day of a mission.
These and additional samples and equipment launched to the space station aboard CRS-4 enable science on the orbiting laboratory that continues to create “cyg”-nificant benefits off the Earth for the Earth and beyond.