On Saturday, November 17th, in Wallops Island, Virginia, the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket was launched, having on board NASA supplies and a Cygnus NG-10 cargo spacecraft stuffed with tons of food, science experiments and other much needed supplies for the crew.
There are fresh fruits and even ice cream packed for the three-person Expedition 57 with around 3,400 kilograms supplies packed on the Cygnus spacecraft.
The take off happened at 4:01 a.m. EST (0901 GMT) from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport here at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility with a delay of two days because of the bad weather conditions.
“What an outstanding launch, Cygnus is now on track for an arrival at the station on Monday” Joel Montalbano, the NASA’s deputy station program manager said after the liftoff.
If the mission goes as planned, the Cygnus ship is expected to arrive on Monday at 5:20 a.m. EST (1020 GMT) and tracked down by a robotic arm in the astronauts station. However, it is not the first mission of Cygnus. The spacecraft completed ten missions for NASA due to the commercial contract with Northrop Grumman.
The Northrop Grumman rocket was named the Cygnus the S.S. John Young in honor of the famed NASA astronaut John Young, who was on the Gemini 3 and 10 missions, Apollo 10 and 16, and the STS-1 and STS-9 space shuttle flights. He passed away in January at age 87.
Tara Ruttley, the NASA’s associate chief scientist for microgravity research, reported that more than 250 different experiments can be designed on Earth by everyone due to the fact that there is enough science gear.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation did a protein-growth study to examine the structure of the LRRK2 protein, which is linked to the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Another team from Penn State University is doing an experiment to send the first lab-on-chip to the spaceship and there is also the Refabricator experiment.
The Refabricator is a 3D printer and recycler made to print items and recycle wastes.
“It’s a key part of NASA’s in-space manufacturing tech demo roadmap,” Ruttley said.
The Cygnus ship will be parked at the space station until February. It will be stuffed with wastes and burned up in the atmosphere to destroy itself.
The Russia’s Progress 71 vehicle will arrive on Sunday, November 18th a day before the Cygnus.
NASA even shipped a Thanksgiving dinner for both Cygnus and Progress.
“We like to plan ahead,”