Cygnus and Progress Sister Supply Ships Arrive Back to Back at International Space Station, Crew Unloads Cargo and Celebrates Thanksgiving

Northrop Cygnus NG-10 commercial resupply
spacecraft, named the S.S. John Young, grappled by the space station’s Canadarm2
 robotic arm on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/Serena Auñón-Chancellor

Ken Kremer SpaceUpClose.com 
& RocketSTEM
–22 November 2018


NASA WALLOPS
FLIGHT FACILITY, VA & CAPE CANAVERAL, FL– This is a very good and busy week
in space as the American Cygnus and Russian Progress sister supply ships from
the two main partners arrived back to back at the International Space Station
(ISS), bringing nearly 7 tons of cargo for the multinational crew – including
goodies to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday –  And 20 years since launch of the stations
first element!



The ISSis a place where borders between humans are nonexistent and peace prevails for the
benefit of all humanity.  Russia’s Zarya
control module counts as the 1st ISS element launched in Nov. 1998. 



The Progress
and Cygnus cargo freighters arrived back to back just 1 day apart  – actually only 15 hours and in that order.
Making for a first time feat in the stations 20 year history! 



The commercial Cygnus NG-10 space freighter from
Northrop Grumman launched second on Saturday, Nov. 17 and
arrived second on Monday Nov. 19
at 5:28
a.m. EST (1028 GMT)
delivering almost 3.7 tons of crew supplies
and new science experiments for the three person crew living and wrking aboard from
Germany, the United States and Russia.



The Cygnus BG-10 space freighter is pictured moments after it was
captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm operated by NASA astronaut Serena
Auñón-Chancellor on the ISS on Nov 19, 2018. Credit: NASA TV



The current  Expedition 57 crew trio comprises Station Commander
Alexander Gerst for ESA (European Space
Agency) from Germany, NASA Flight Engineer
Serena
Auñón-Chancellor
from America and Roscosmos
Flight Engineer
Sergey
Prokopyev
from Russia.





The Progress 71 (71P) resupply from Russia launch
first on Friday and docked first on Sunday Nov. 18
at 2:28 p.m. EST (1928 GMT) packed with almost
three tons of food, fuel and supplies
after launching earlier in the day. 



“Busy times for #Exp57. We just caught the 2nd cargo vehicle [Cygnus] in one day, first time in
@Space_Station history,” tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst,
Nov. 19.



@AstroSerena operated
the
#Canadarm while I sent navigation commands to
the
#Cygnus vehicle, great teamwork. Welcome
aboard “S.S. John Young”!
#Horizons

The International
Space Station heads into an orbital sunset as the Canadarm2 robotic arm guides
the Cygnus space freighter to its installation point on the Unity module.
Credit: NASA TV

After launching on the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket
on Saturday, Nov. 17, Cygnus separated conducted a carefully choreographed
2 day orbital chase with a series of thruster firings to approach and rendezvous
with the outpost.






The
flawless liftoff of Northrop Grumman’s
upgraded Antares 230 configuration rocket carrying the Cygnus
NG-10 supply ship took place right at the opening of the launch window at
4:01 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 from seaside
pad 0A
at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility at the Mid Atlantic Regional
Spaceport in Virginia.  






When it approached within about 30 feet (10
meters), Auñón-Chancellor
of NASA and Gerst of ESA maneuvered the space station’s 57.7 foot (17 meter)  long Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach our and
grapple Cygnus with the end effector snares at
5:28 a.m. EST (1028 GMT), Monday, Nov. 19. 

Northrop Cygnus NG-10 commercial resupply
spacecraft, named the S.S. John Young, grappled by the space station’s Canadarm2
robotic arm on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. Credit: NASA/Serena Auñón-Chancellor

They were working at work stations inside the 7-windowed
domed Cupola module offering dramatic clear line of sight views of Cygnus. See photos
snapped by the crew herein.



She then handed over arm operation to ground controllers
at Mission Control in Houston who finished moving the arm closer to mate Cygnus
at the stations Earth-facing port on the Unity module – the first element
launched by the US on the Space Shuttle back in 1998




After berthing the ground controlled drove home
16 bolts and latches need to secure Cygnus for a hard mate to Unity
at 7:31
a.m. EST (1231 GMT).

NASA offered live coverage
of the rendezvous, arrival, capture and berthing of Cygnus – orbiting some 250 miles
(400 km) above Earth.  
“Captured
Cygnus today with @Astro_Alex…Proud to have The SS John Young
on-board!” tweeted NASA astronaut
Serena Auñón-Chancellor.
The Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter was christened the ‘S.S.
John Young’ in
honor of veteran renowned astronaut and moonwalker John Young.
 He
was NASA’s longest serving astronaut
and passed away earlier this year in January at age 87.
Young
was selected for NASA’s second astronaut class and flew 6 times during the
Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. He walked on the Moon during Apollo
16 in 1972 and commanded the first space shuttle mission in 1981.
The Northrop Grumman built
Cygnus NG-10 cargo spacecraft is prepped inside clean room High Bay facility at
NASA Wallops and named in honor NASA astronaut and Apollo 16 moonwalker John Young
on Oct. 24, 2018.  Blastoff on Antares
rocket is slated for Nov. 15, 2018 from pad 0A
at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia bound for the International Space Station.
 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com
Gerst
had an especially busy day as he also assisted Russian cosmonaut Prokopyev to with
the Progress 71 to monitor the crafts autonomous docking to the Russian side of
the station.
“Just
welcomed a new Russian #Progress cargo vehicle on board, supplying
the @Space_Station 
with fresh food, water, air and experiments. Sergey and I were monitoring its
flawless automatic approach to #ISS,
ready to step in if needed. Photo by @AstroSerena
,”
tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst, on Nov. 18. 


The unpiloted Russian Progress 71 cargo ship was
docked at 2:28 p.m.
EST (1928 GMT) Nov. 18 to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on the Russian
segment of the station complex while soaring about 252 miles (403 km) over
Algeria.  

Progress 71 was launched on Friday, Nov. 16 at
1814:08
GMT (1:14:08 p.m. EST) atop a Soyuz-FG rocket from Launch Pad No. 1
 the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to begin
a 2 day station chase. That’s the same launch pad from which Yuri Garagin
launched on the 1st human spaceflight mission back in 1961.
The Progress launch is quite significant because
this was the first launch of the Soyuz FG variant since the failed Oct. 11 launch of the Soyuz MS-10 with two crew members on board
who safely survived an
emergency abort 2 minutes into flight. The failure was caused by a deformed sensor on one of the first stage strap on boosters
Cygnus NG-10 is loaded
with cargo 3,350 kg (7,385 lb.) of cargo comprising science experiments,
research gear, food, water, spare parts, crew supplies and
vehicle hardware
to support the Expedition 57
and 58 crews and dozens of the over 250 new and ongoing research investigations.
Alex and Serena opened Cygnus’s hatch a few
hours after it was captured and attached to the
Unity module.
The next day they began “installing new
science freezers, transferring the new cargo and replenishing the orbital
laboratory. Cosmonaut
Sergey Prokopyev
opened the 71P hatch after its automated docking Sunday and began unloading the
new gear,”  NASA reported. 

Serena
Auñón-Chancellor (right) takes a group selfie with her Expedition 57 crew mates
(from left) Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst. The three-person crew was
gathered for dinner in the Zvezda Service Module, part of the International
Space Station’s Russian segment.

Thanksgiving goodies and delicious cold ice cream
were loaded on board Cygnus.
Today they enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast.
“The Expedition 57 trio
from the U.S., Russia and Germany will share a traditional Thanksgiving meal
together with fresh ingredients delivered over the weekend on a pair of new
cargo ships. Commander
Alexander Gerst
from ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer
Serena Auñón-Chancellor will take the day off in space. Cosmonaut Sergey
Prokopyev
will work a normal day of
Russian science and maintenance then join his crewmates for the holiday feast.”
NG-10 counts as Northrop Grumman’s 10th station
resupply cargo mission for NASA.
Here’s a breakdown of the manifest aboard
Cygnus NG-10 which includes:  
Crew Supplies: 2,515.5
lbs. / 1,141 kg
Science Investigations: 2,301.6 lbs. / 1,044 kg
Spacewalk Equipment: 68.3 lbs. / 31 kg
Vehicle Hardware: 2,076.8 lbs. / 942 kg
Computer Resources: 253.5 lbs. / 115 kg
Total Cargo: 7,385.5 lbs. / 3,350 kg
Total Pressurized Cargo with Packaging: 7,215.8
lbs. / 3,273 kg
Unpressurized Cargo (NanoRacks Deployer): 169.8
lbs. / 77 kg 
Over 1
ton of science and research is on board from delivery to the Space Station. In  addition to the ‘Refabricator’ which will recycle
waste plastic bags into a 3D filament to make tools and hardware,  other experiments will try to growing
large crystals of an important protein (LRRK2)
related to the development of Parkinson’s disease for the Michael J. Fox
Foundation, examine the growth of crystals involved in cement solidification, situational
awareness of the astronauts
perception of motion,
body position and distance to objects changes in space
, the  lab-on-a-chip (fully
automated, multifunctional cell culture platform) investigation looking at
skeletal muscle cells, and a dust zapping  experiment related to the formation of the early
solar system.
The science will be detailed in a follow-up
story.
Cygnus NG-10 will remain at the station for
approximately 3 months u
ntil February 2019.
Then it will unberth and depart and deploy a
series of cubesats and orbits above and below the ISS altitude at a safe distance
from the outpost.
Then it be commanded to a destructive reentry
into Earth’s atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash.
The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew
members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking
on Oct. 4, 2018.  NASA
astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg
Artemyev executed a fly around of the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of
the station before returning home after spending 197 days in space. The station
will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element
Zarya in
November 2018. Credit: NASA/Roscosmos
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports
direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science
and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter
@ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research
scientist, journalist and photographer based in the KSC area.
………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events


ISS transits over NASA’s VAB on Black Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 with 3 Expedition 57 crewmembers on board from Germany, US and Russia. Credit: Ken Kremer 


Oceanside
view of
Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus NG-10
cargo freighter  aboard bound for the International
Space Station, is seen on Pad-0A, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops
Flight Facility in Virginia. Poor weather forced launch postponement to Sat
, Nov, 17, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Northrop Grumman Antares rocket,
with Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter  aboard
bound for the International Space Station, raised erect on Pad-0A, Wednesday,
Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Poor weather
forced launch postponement to Sat., Nov, 17, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com








Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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