Northrop Grumman's unmanned Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on August 12th, 2021, and after more than three months, it is scheduled for departure on November 20th, 2021.
Upon arrival, it delivered nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, research, hardware, commercial products, and an assortment of other cargo to the station. The mission was Northrop Grumman's 16th commercial resupply for NASA.
Cygnus' departure is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. EST (15:45 UTC), and a livestream of the event will be available on NASA television, NASA's website, and the NASA app.
To initiate the process, flight controllers on Earth will issue commands to Canadarm2, a robotic arm on the space station that will detach Cygnus from the Unity module's Earth-facing port. After moving the craft into position, the arm will release it at 11 a.m. EST (16:00 UTC).
After its release from the space station, the Kentucky Re-Entry Probe Experiment (KREPE) aboard the Cygnus will monitor temperatures of the craft and its contents to demonstrate its capacity to withstand the thermal conditions of re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
On December 15th, 2021, Cygnus will fire a de-orbit engine to initiate a destructive re-entry into the atmosphere, burning away the spacecraft and the waste aboard packed in by space station crew.
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