Cygnus CRS OA-6

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Cygnus CRS OA-6
ISS-47 Cygnus OA-6 approaching the ISS (1).jpg
Cygnus CRS OA-6 approaching the ISS on 26 March 2016
Mission type ISS resupply
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 2016-019A
SATCAT no. 41393
Mission duration Final: 91 days, 10 hours, 23 minutes
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft S.S. Rick Husband
Spacecraft type Enhanced Cygnus[1][2]
Manufacturer Orbital Sciences
Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass 7,492 kg (16,517 lb)[3]
Start of mission
Launch date 23 March 2016, 03:05:52 (2016-03-23UTC03:05:52) UTC[4]
Rocket Atlas V 401 (AV-064)
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-41
Contractor United Launch Alliance
End of mission
Disposal Deorbited
Decay date 22 June 2016, 13:29 (2016-06-22UTC13:30) UTC[5]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Epoch Planned
Berthing at ISS
Berthing port Unity nadir
RMS capture 26 March 2016, 10:51 UTC[6]
Berthing date 26 March 2016, 14:52 UTC
Unberthing date 14 June 2016, 11:43 UTC
RMS release 14 June 2016, 13:30 UTC
Time berthed 79 days, 20 hours, 51 minutes

Orbital Sciences CRS Flight 6 Patch.png
NASA OA-6 mission patch

Cygnus CRS OA-6, also known as Orbital ATK CRS-6, is the sixth flight of the Orbital ATK unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its fifth flight to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.[4][7]

The Cygnus spacecraft for this mission is named the S.S. Rick Husband in honor of astronaut Rick Husband.[8]

History[edit]

The first COTS demonstration mission with a Cygnus concluded successfully in September 2013 and Orbital commenced operational ISS cargo missions under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) program with two missions in 2014. However, the third operational mission, Orb CRS-3, was unsuccessful due to catastrophic failure of its Antares 130 launch vehicle. Orbital discontinued the Antares 100 series in favor of the planned Antares 200, upgraded with newly built RD-181 first stage engines to provide greater payload performance and increased reliability.[9]

While the Antares 200 was under development in 2015–2016, the company contracted with United Launch Alliance for the Atlas V launch of CRS OA-4, which occurred on 6 December 2015, to be followed by the Atlas V launch of CRS OA-6 on 23 March 2016.[10]

Orbital ATK plans subsequent launches of CRS OA-5 in Q3 2016 and CRS OA-7 in Q4 2016 on the new Antares 230. Together with CRS OA-6, these missions will enable Orbital ATK to cover their initial CRS contracted payload obligation.[11]

Production and integration of Cygnus spacecraft is performed in Dulles, Virginia. The Cygnus service module is mated with the pressurized cargo module at the launch site, and mission operations are conducted from control centers in Dulles and Houston.[12]

Launch[edit]

On 23 March 2016 (UTC), Cygnus CRS OA-6 was successfully launched by the Atlas V into Low Earth orbit. During the flight, the rocket had a first-stage anomaly that led to shutdown of the first-stage engine approximately five seconds before anticipated. The anomaly forced the Centaur upper stage of the rocket to fire for approximately one minute longer than planned, using reserved fuel margin, but did not significantly impact payload orbital insertion. The preplanned deorbit burn successfully deorbited the stage, but not precisely within the designated location. The issue marked the first Atlas V anomaly in over eight years to be publicly acknowledged by ULA.[13][14]

Spacecraft[edit]

OA-6 is the fifth of ten flights by Orbital ATK under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. This was the second flight of the Enhanced sized Cygnus PCM.[11] The delay of the NOAA GOES-R satellite from March 2016 to October 2016 created this Atlas V launch opportunity for CRS OA-6 to be launched before OA-5. The mission was launched on 23 March 2016.[4][15]

In keeping with an Orbital ATK tradition, this Cygnus spacecraft is named the S.S. Rick Husband after the NASA astronaut who commanded the Space Shuttle Columbia's fatal STS-107 mission in 2003.[16]

Manifest[edit]

Total weight of cargo: 3,513 kg (7,745 lb) using Enhanced Cygnus.[2][not in citation given][17][not in citation given]

  • Crew supplies: 2,511 pounds (1,139 kg)
    • Crew care packages
    • 169 Bulk overwrap bags of food
    • 6 Bulk overwrap bags of U.S. food for Russian crew
    • Hygiene towels for Russian crew
    • Printer ink and paper
  • Vehicle hardware: 2,443 pounds (1,108 kg)
    • Multiplexer-demultiplexer circuit cards
    • Charcoal, brine and bacteria filters for ECLESS
    • Water sampling kit
    • Toilet inserts, urine receptacle with hose, toilet paper
  • Science and research: 1,713 pounds (777 kg)
  • Computer resources: 216 pounds (98 kg)
    • New ZBook laptop and printer
    • 160GB hard drive for IBM ThinkPad
    • Canon XH camcorder, Ghost camera, Nikon cameras, 50mm lens, USB card reader
    • Assorted cables
  • EVA (Spacewalk) gear: 346 pounds (157 kg)
    • Legs, boots, arms and hard upper torso for spacesuit
    • Socket caddy assembly
    • METOX canisters for carbon dioxide removal
    • Contamination detection kit

Saffire-1[edit]

Saffire-1 is a NASA test to study flammability and fire propagation in space, using the CRS OA-6 after it has delivered cargo to the International Space Station. The spacecraft is fitted with various sensors and cameras to record data during what is expected to be a 20-minute fire, to determine how much fire resistance is needed in the ultra-light material used in the spacecraft and astronaut's gear. OA-6 will later disintegrate as it enters the Earth's atmosphere.[20]

Other ORB projects[edit]

After this OA-6 flight, NASA plans to launch two more Cygnus cargo missions in 2016: OA-5 on 6 July and OA-7 on 30 December. They will be followed by three flights from the extended contract: OA-8E on 12 June 2017, OA-9E later in 2017 and OA-10E in 2018. The schedules in early 2017 are dynamic, due to the first manned commercial flights (SpaceX, Boeing) to ISS.[7][21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bergin, Chris (22 February 2012). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". NasaSpaceflight (not affiliated with NASA). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Orbital ATK Team on Track for Fall 2015 Cygnus Mission and Antares Return to Flight in 2016". Orbital ATK. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cygnus OA-6 Mission: Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 2018. FS032_115_OA_6375. Retrieved 24 May 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c Clark, Stephen. "Launch Schedule". spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Mission Page: OA-6 Space Station Cargo Resupply". Orbital ATK. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2018. 
  6. ^ Ray, Justin (26 March 2016). "Traveling Cygnus pulls into port at International Space Station". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Frommert, Hartmut (17 December 2015). "International Space Station Flight Schedule". Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "OA-6 Mission Page". www.orbitalatk.com. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (14 August 2015). "Orbital ATK make progress toward Return To Flight of Antares rocket". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Orbital ATK Looks Ahead as Cygnus Arrives at ISS - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Leone, Dan (17 August 2015). "NASA Orders Two More ISS Cargo Missions From Orbital ATK". SpaceNews.com. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Cygnus Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 24 March 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Ray, Justin (24 March 2016). "Atlas 5 rocket forced to improvise during Tuesday's climb to orbit". SpaceFlight Now. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  14. ^ Foust, Jeff (24 March 2016). "ULA confirms engine issue on latest Atlas launch". SpaceNews. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Scimemi, Sam (July 2015). "International Space Station Status" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Sanders, Shaley (9 March 2016). "Orbital ATK names space station freighter in honor of TTU grad". KCBD. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Mission Page: OA-6 Space Station Cargo Resupply". Orbital ATK. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  18. ^ Krebs, Gunter Dirk (29 March 2016). "The Flock Earth observing constellation". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  19. ^ Graham, William (22 March 2016). "OA-6 Cygnus launched to the ISS via Atlas V". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  20. ^ NASA to light large blaze in space as part of new fire safety experiment, AFP via ABC News Online, 16 March 2016
  21. ^ Krebs, Gunter Dirk (18 August 2015). "Cygnus-PCM (enhanced)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Cygnus 6 at Wikimedia Commons