Cygnus Leaving Station Today After Four-Month Mission

The space station with the Cygnus space freighter (left) attached orbits into a sunset 261 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
The space station with the Cygnus space freighter (left) attached orbits into a sunset 261 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

Live coverage of the departure of Northrop Grumman’s uncrewed Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station is underway on the NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app, with its release from the robotic arm scheduled for 7:05 a.m. EDT.

Flight controllers on the ground sent commands earlier this morning for the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Cygnus from the Unity module’s nadir port, and then maneuver the spacecraft into position for its release. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins will monitor Cygnus’ systems upon its departure from the space station.

Following a deorbit engine firing on Wednesday, June 29, Cygnus will begin a planned destructive re-entry, in which the spacecraft – filled with trash packed by the station crew – will safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Cygnus arrived at the space station Feb. 21, following a launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the company’s 17th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA. Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft after the late NASA astronaut and climate scientist Piers Sellers.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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