Orbital ATK / NASA - ISS CRS-4 Launch patch.
December 6, 2015
Liftoff of Orbital ATK CRS-4
Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft is on its own and on its way to the International Space Station!
United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying an enhanced Orbital ATK CRS-4 Cygnus spacecraft on a commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff was at 4:44 p.m. EST.
Supply Spacecraft Launches to the Space Station
The Orbital ATK control team will begin to deploy the twin solar arrays of the Cygnus spacecraft in about two minutes. They will first extend the array arms away from the spacecraft so they can unfurl into their circular shapes. The whole process will take about 30 minutes.
The second solar array on Cygnus is confirmed unfurled, so both of the spacecraft’s circular arrays are now open to receive sunlight and convert it to electricity for the systems on the Orbital ATK cargo spacecraft named for astronaut Deke Slayton.
Artist's view of Cygnus Cargo Craft arrival at the ISS
The flight, known as CRS-4, will deliver samples and equipment to the International Space Station for research investigations that will occur during current and future expeditions in the many science disciplines aboard the orbiting multi-disciplinary laboratory.
Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 6:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft. Scott Kelly of NASA will support Lindgren in a backup position. The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash.
“Cyg”-nificant Science Launching to Space Station:
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
For more information about the Orbital ATK resupply mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orbital
Images, Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Orbital ATK/Steven Siceloff.