NG-16 Cygnus arrives at International Space Station
Two days after launching from Virginia, Northrop Grumman’s NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station with supplies and experiments for the seven-person Expedition 65 crew.
NG-16 Cygnus, dubbed SS Ellison Onizuka after the first Asian-American astronaut, arrived at the space station with some 8,200 pounds (3,700 kilograms) of cargo in the early-morning hours of Aug. 12, 2021, and was captured by the space station crew at 6:07 a.m. EDT (10:07 UTC) using the Canadarm2 remote manipulator system.
“On behalf of the Expedition 65 crew, I’m pleased to bring the Cygnus spacecraft SS Ellison Onizuka aboard the International Space Station today,” said NASA astronaut and ISS Flight Engineer Megan McArthur over the space-to-ground radio loop. “Our congratulations go out to the combined teams from Northrop Grumman and NASA for the mission’s success so far. This mission enables ground-breaking research through which we hope to meet Col. Onizuka’s challenge — to enable the next generation to look out from a higher plateau.”
Over the next several hours, ground-based teams commanded the robotic arm to move the NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft to the Earth-facing port of the Unity module, securing it to the outpost at 9:42 a.m. EDT (13:42 UTC) where it is expected to remain until November.
This is the 16th Cygnus spacecraft to visit the space station and the fifth overall under NASA’s second Commercial Resupply Services contract. At the conclusion of its mission later this year, it is slated to be unberthed from the outpost to conduct a post-ISS mission to deploy several CubeSats before deorbiting to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Video courtesy of NASA
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.