Cygnus CRS Orb-1
Cygnus arriving at the ISS, 12 January 2014
|Mission type||ISS resupply|
|Mission duration||41 days|
|Spacecraft type||Standard Cygnus|
Thales Alenia Space
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||9 January 2014, 18:07:05 UTC|
|Launch site||MARS LP-0A|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||19 February 2014, 18:20 UTC|
|Perigee||406 kilometres (252 mi)|
|Apogee||415 kilometres (258 mi)|
|Epoch||11 January 2014|
|Berthing at ISS|
|Berthing port||Harmony nadir|
|RMS capture||12 January 2014, 11:08 UTC|
|Berthing date||12 January 2014, 13:05 UTC|
|Unberthing date||18 February 2014, 10:25 UTC|
|RMS release||18 February 2014, 11:41 UTC|
|Time berthed||36 days, 21 hours, 20 minutes|
|Mass||1,261 kg (2,780 lb)|
Cygnus CRS Orb-1, also known as Orbital-1, is the second flight of the Orbital Sciences Cygnus unmanned resupply spacecraft, its second flight to the International Space Station and the third launch of the company's Antares launch vehicle.
Launch and early operations
The launch of Orb-1 was scheduled for November 2013, but a series of delays pushed the date to 20 December UTC. The Antares launch vehicle rolled out from the Wallops Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) on the morning of 17 December, and was later erected at Launch Pad 0A. Later that day, due to the need for a series of spacewalks to fix a faulty coolant system on the space station, NASA directed Orbital to stand down the Antares rocket. Antares was rolled back to the HIF and time-sensitive cargo removed. The launch date was rescheduled for no earlier than 13 January 2014, but was later moved forward to 7 January after a scheduling conflict at Wallops was resolved. The launch was delayed one day due to cold temperatures at the launch site.
NASA Wallops and Orbital Sciences announced the launch attempt on 8 January 2014 was scrubbed due to "an unusually high level of space radiation that exceeded by a considerable margin the constraints imposed on the mission to ensure the rocket's electronic systems are not impacted by a harsh radiation environment." Orbital later revised this, stating that a more extensive review of the radiation environment found it to be "within acceptable limits" of the Antares program, and that a launch would be attempted on 9 January.
The Orb-1 mission successfully launched on 9 January 2014 at 18:07:05 UTC from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0A. Solar array deployment occurred shortly after arriving in orbit. The Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station early on 12 January.
The launch was expected to be viewable from South Carolina through Massachusetts and as far west as West Virginia. As with its last couple of launches out of Wallops, Orbital Sciences has released viewing information for the Eastern U.S., including maps indicating launch vehicle maximum elevation above horizon and time of first sighting after launch for the various viewing locations.
|Attempt||Planned||Result||Turnaround||Reason||Decision point||Weather go (%)||Notes|
|1||20 Dec 2013, 12:00:00 pm||delayed||---||technical||17 Dec 2013, 12:00 pm||ISS coolant loop repair spacewalks forced delay|
|2||7 Jan 2014, 1:55:00 pm||delayed||18 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes||weather||3 Jan 2014, 12:00 pm||Delayed due to extreme cold temperatures|
|3||8 Jan 2014, 1:32:00 pm||scrubbed||0 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes||space weather||8 Jan 2014, 8:00 am||95%||Scrubbed for concerns about avionics health due to recent solar flux activity|
|4||9 Jan 2014, 1:07:05 pm||success||0 days, 23 hours, 35 minutes||Successful launch|
Cygnus was filled with 1,261 kilograms (2,780 lb) of supplies for the ISS, including science experiments and hardware to expand the research capability of the station, crew provisions and spare parts. This includes 12 experiments flying as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, selected from 1,466 entrants and involving 7,200 North American students.
A sample of the major experiments focus on:
- NASA's Launch Services Program SPHERES-Slosh Experiment for the SPHERES testbed
- Vaccines, antibiotic effectiveness, and drug resistance in space
- Physics research which may lead to better products on Earth
- Fire and liquid behavior in space
- Ant behavior in space
End of mission
Canadarm2 unberthed the Cygnus spacecraft from the nadir port of the Harmony module on 18 February 2014 at 10:25 UTC. The spacecraft was then maneuvered to a position below the station, where it was released from the RMS at 11:41 UTC. It then performed a series of separation maneuvers to move it away from the station. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and burned up on 19 February 2014 over the southern Pacific Ocean, disposing of approximately 1,470 kilograms (3,250 lb) of trash.
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