Virginia

Cygnus cargo spacecraft successfully re-enters Earth's atmosphere, ending its mission

Cygnus cargo spacecraft successfully...

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - It's been a little over a month, since the Antares Rocket launched off of Wallops Island.

And the Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft on that rocket has left the International Space Station.

It successfully re-entered Earth's atmosphere this morning, ending its mission.  

During that month span, it was able to assist the ISS. 

For the first time, they extended the lab by bringing science experiments inside that cargo module.

We're told this test was a success and they hope to continue to do more in the future. 

The spacecraft also took away disposable cargo, which is a vital function for the space station, since they tend to generate lots of trash. 

Cygnus removed itself on December 5th and continued with its secondary mission, releasing 14 cubesats. 

Vice President of the Advanced Programs, Frank DeMauro tells 47 ABC, "The cubesats themselves can be anything from a scientific experiment from a school, a high school or a college to a small spacecraft used by a commercial company to provide monitoring devices or studying the atmosphere or anything like that."

NASA is in support for cubesat missions because it gives more access to space. 

As for the next mission, they are already planning out that trip. 

The plan is to launch sometime in the spring and that mission will be out of Wallops Island once again. 


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