CAMBRIDGE, MA—An Orbital ATK Antares rocket lifted the ninth operational Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft into orbit for a mission to the International Space Station at 4:44 a.m. EDT May 21 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Using maneuvers enabled by software developed by Draper, the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft will resupply the Expedition 55 crew with new science experiments, crew supplies, station hardware and gear that will be installed on a June 14 spacewalk.
The S.S. J.R. Thompson spacecraft is packed with 7,385 pounds (3,350 kilograms) of supplies. The Cygnus spacecraft incorporates advanced avionics and guidance and navigation components that allow for fully autonomous rendezvous with the space station.
The OA-9 mission is the first of two planned Orbital-ATK resupply missions to the space station in 2018.
Draper has been a mission partner on Cygnus since the spacecraft assumed commercial resupply missions of the ISS from the Space Shuttle. Draper provides the fault-tolerant computer design, the guidance, navigation and targeting software, and the software that enables Cygnus to rendezvous and berth with the ISS.