ISS - Expedition 58 Mission patch.
February 7, 2019
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter is just a day away from completing its tenth mission to the International Space Station. The Expedition 58 crew is training today for Cygnus’ robotic release on Friday and preparing it for one more mission afterward.
Cygnus is in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm today still attached to the Unity module. Robotics controllers will uninstall Cygnus from Unity early Friday and remotely maneuver the space freighter to its release position.
Image above: The Cygnus space freighter is maneuvered by the Canadarm2 robotic arm shortly after its arrival and capture at the International Space Station on Nov. 19, 2018. Image Credit: NASA.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain will take over the robotics controls as David Saint-Jacques from the Canadian Space Agency backs her up inside the cupola. She will command the Canadarm2 to release Cygnus back into space at 11:10 a.m. EST Friday. NASA TV will begin its live coverage of Cygnus’ release starting at 10:45 a.m.
The two astronauts practiced the release of Cygnus today and finished the installation of the Slingshot small satellite deployer inside the spacecraft. Slingshot will eject a set of CubeSats from Cygnus once the cargo vessel reaches a safe distance from the station about eight hours after its release.
International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA
Friday’s Cygnus departure will leave a pair of Russian spacecraft docked to the station including the Progress 71 cargo craft and the Soyuz MS-11 crew ship. Two more spaceships are due to visit in March including a demonstration version of SpaceX’s first crew Dragon and the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft with three new Expedition 59-60 crew members.
Expedition 58: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition58/index.html
Canadarm2 robotic arm: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/mobile-servicing-system.html
Unity module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/unity
Live coverage of Cygnus’ release: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-airs-departure-of-us-cargo-ship-from-international-space-station
Progress 71 cargo craft: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/11/16/russias-cargo-craft-blasts-off-to-station-for-sunday-delivery/
Soyuz MS-11 crew ship: https://go.nasa.gov/2QrzAcX
Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.
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