After delivering almost three tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the crew of the International Space Station, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the SS Janice Voss, is scheduled to leave the station Friday, Aug. 15. NASA Television will provide live coverage of departure activities beginning at 6:15 a.m. EDT.
Ground controllers in the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will detach Cygnus from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module and maneuver it into release position. With the assistance of NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman, Expedition 40 Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency then will use the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, operated from the station’s cupola robotics workstation, to release Cygnus.
Once the spacecraft is a safe distance from the station, its engines will fire twice Sunday, Aug. 17, pushing it into Earth's atmosphere where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean. Station crew members may have an opportunity to photograph Cygnus' fiery reentry back to Earth in order to gather engineering data that could be applied to the entry path of the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship in January 2015. The deorbit burn and reentry of Cygnus will not be broadcast on NASA TV.
Cygnus was launched on an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket from NASA's Wallop's Flight Facility in Virginia July 13 on the company's second commercial resupply mission to the station, arriving at the orbiting laboratory July 16.
For more information about the spacecraft’s mission and the International Space Station, visit:
For video b-roll and media resources on the International Space Station, visit: