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Sun, Feb 21, 2021

15th Northrop Grumman Resupply Mission Launches to ISS

Cygnus Is Scheduled To Arrive At The Space Station Around 0440 Sunday

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft is en route to the International Space Station with approximately 8,000 pounds of science investigations and cargo after launching at 12:36 p.m. EST Saturday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. About three hours after launch, the spacecraft's solar arrays successfully deployed to collect sunlight to power Cygnus on its journey to the space station.

Cygnus is scheduled to arrive at the space station around 0440 Sunday. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi will use the space station's robotic Canadarm2 to capture Cygnus upon its arrival, while NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins monitors telemetry during rendezvous, capture, and installation on the Unity module's Earth-facing port.

Northrop Grumman's 15th cargo flight to the space station is the fourth under its Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA. Cygnus launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad 0A at Wallops.

The resupply flight will support dozens of new and existing investigations.

The lead NASA flight director for the mission is Adi Boulos. "I am humbled to be the International Space Station Flight Director for the Northrup Grumman CRS-15 mission," Boulos said.

"This spacecraft has the honor of being named the S.S. Katherine Johnson. As a Black woman, Katherine Johnson shattered race and gender barriers to live out her dreams and become a pivotal part of this country's young space program. Fifty-nine years ago today, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth after personally asking for Katherine Johnson to verify his Mercury missions' orbital trajectory calculations. Katherine Johnson was an asset to our space program, and I am honored to work for a mission that expands her legacy even further."

The Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until May before it disposes of several thousand pounds of trash through its destructive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/northropgrumman

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