A large number of NASA crew provisions, research investigations, hardware and science trials from all over the country are directed towards International Space Station (ISS) alongside the Cygnus spacecraft of Orbital Sciences Corporation. On Sunday, at around 12:52 pm EDT, the cargo craft set up alongside Orbital’s Antares rocket from Wallops Flight Facility of NASA located in Virginia.
The task is the second cargo delivery flight of the company to the station via a USD 1.9 billion contract with NASA Commercial Resupply Services. The orbital will carry eight cargo missions, at minimum, to the space station by 2016.
Moreover, the Orbital-2 mission is currently carrying around 3,300 pounds of stock towards the space station, which will extend the research capacity of Expedition 40 team members. The research investigations directed towards the orbital laboratory include a great deal of nano-satellites, which are designed specifically to take some images of the Earth, formulated by Planet Labs of San Francisco. Moreover, it also includes another satellite-based investigation known as TechEdSat-4 developed by NASA’s Ames Research Center located in Moffett, California. It aims at developing technology that will finally allow small specimen to be brought back to the Earth from the space station.
Furthermore, an experiment conducted by Smart Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) incorporates a sensor along with multiple cameras that allows robotic investigation and 3-D mapping within the space station. Not only this, but a host of experiments conducted by students are also on board as a component of Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, a step taken by NanoRacks and National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.
NASA’s Steve Swanson, the Commander of Expedition 40, in collaboration with European Space Agency‘s Alexander Gerst, will use the robotic arm of the station to take control of Cygnus at around 6:39 am, on Wednesday, July 16. Moreover, next month, the capsule, which is likely to be filled with refuse, will leave the station and probably burn up while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
ISS is basically a convergence of technology, science and human inventions that not only presents new technologies, but also makes research breakthroughs impossible on Earth. Furthermore, the space station has continuously been employed since November 2000. It has been visited by over 200 people and a number of commercial and international spacecrafts. It remains the main source of uplift to NASA’s upcoming great jump in exploration, which includes future missions to Mars as well as to an asteroid.