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Cygnus cargo ship completes biggest delivery to ISS

Image: Cygnus resupply spacecraft launches (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Edinburgh, 13 August 2021. – A Northrop Grumman-built Cygnus resupply spacecraft has made a more than 3700 kg delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). Ship S.S. Ellison Onizuka delivered science investigations and cargo on behalf of NASA. The cargo ship was named after the first Asian American astronaut, Ellison Onizuka.

The Cygnus NG-16 vessel launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 6:01 EDT this Tuesday. NASA astronaut Megan Arthur captured Cygnus with the station’s robotic Canadarm2 at 6:07 EDT yesterday while soaring over the Atlantic Ocean.

The delivery includes equipment to support research regarding 3D-printing, heat transfer and a slime mould’s behaviour in microgravity, understanding and preventing muscle mass loss, and carbon dioxide removal systems, among others. The vessel also conveyed a mounting bracket enabling the installation of a pair of new solar arrays in the future.

Dubbed NG-16, the mission is the 16th cargo flight of Northrop Grumman to the space station and the fifth under its Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA. The spacecraft will remain docked at the space station until November, when it disposes of thousands of kilograms of rubbish during its destructive re-entry into the atmosphere.

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