Yesterday marked the liftoff of the first of eight official missions to the International Space Station for Orbital Sciences. Orbital sent its Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS atop its Antares rocket. The rocket launched successfully from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The liftoff this week is the first of eight resupply missions to the ISS that Orbital will complete under its contract with NASA. The NASA contract is worth $1.9 billion. Orbital Sciences had its first ISS test flight last October to the ISS. That mission didn’t go without some challenges.
Notably, the Cygnus had to abort its first approach to the ISS after a computer issues. Cygnus' current mission puts it onto a rendezvous course with the ISS to happen on Sunday morning at 6:02 am. The ISS crew will grab Cygnus with the robotic arm on the station and move it into docking with the space station.
Cygnus has 2780 pounds of supplies for the station in its cargo bay. There are also several scientific experiments onboard for the crew to perform. So far, no issues with the mission have been reported.