PCM for OA-7 mission arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Orbital ATK‘s next Cygnus spacecraft, tapped to carry out the OA-7 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, has arrived at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Cygnus’ pressurized cargo module (PCM) was delivered to the SSPF via a lowboy flatbed trailer. Sealed within an environmentally controlled shipping container, the critical piece of spaceflight hardware will now undergo processing and assembling to prepare it to fly atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket.
That flight is slated to take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 and is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 16, 2017. The launch window is scheduled to open at 12:29 a.m. EST and will remain open for about 30 minutes.
The OA-7 Cygnus will ferry cargo, crew supplies, and experiments to the International Space Station as part of the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract that Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK has entered into with NASA. The mission will be Orbital ATK’s seventh cargo run to the orbiting lab for the space agency under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS)-1 contract.
“With the arrival of the Pressurized Cargo Module at the Kennedy Space Center, Orbital ATK is excited to kick off another Cygnus launch campaign with the ULA team,” Frank DeMauro, Vice President and General Manager of the Advanced Programs Division at Orbital ATK told SpaceFlight Insider. “Orbital ATK is prepared to conduct as many as three missions to deliver cargo to the International Space Station in 2017 as part of our Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. The OA-7 mission is the first of our 2017 missions and will once again demonstrate our flexibility in meeting our customer’s cargo needs by launching on an Atlas V out of Cape Canaveral.”
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.