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Station Crew Captures Cygnus

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Station Crew Captures Cygnus

The International Space Station’s Expedition 40 crew successfully captured Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus resupply vehicle with the station’s robotic arm at 6:36 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

Controlling the 57-foot Canadarm2 from a robotics workstation inside the station’s cupola, Commander Steve Swanson, with assistance from Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst, grappled Cygnus as it flew within about 32 feet of the complex. Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman joined his crewmates in the seven-windowed cupola to assist with the capture and help coordinate the activities. At the time of grapple, the orbital laboratory was soaring around 260 statute miles over northern Libya.

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Cygnus Delivers Science, Station Supplies

The Expedition 40 crew welcomed more than a ton and a half of science, supplies and spacewalking equipment to the International Space Station Wednesday with the arrival of Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

With Cygnus securely in the grasp of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, the robotics officer at Mission Control in Houston remotely operated the arm to guide the cargo craft to its berthing port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module. Once Cygnus was in position, Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman monitored the Common Berthing Mechanism operations for first and second stage capture of the cargo ship, assuring that the vehicle was securely attached to the station with a hard mate. Second stage capture was completed at 8:53 a.m. EDT.

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U.S. Cargo Ship Arrives And Grapples With The International Space Station

Carrying more than 3,000 pounds of food, supplies, spare parts and experiments, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station July 16, where it was grappled by Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson backed up by European Space Agency Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst. The pair operated the Canadarm2 robotic arm from the station's cupola to snag Cygnus before robotic ground controllers at mission control in Houston initiated its installation onto the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module where it would be bolted in place for a month-long stay. Cygnus was launched July 13 atop Orbital's Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Launch Pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia for the second contracted commercial resupply flight for the U.S. firm.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Station Crew Opens Cygnus Hatch, Begins Unloading Science Cargo

The International Space Station’s Expedition 40 crew opened the hatch to Orbital Sciences’ newly arrived Cygnus cargo craft Thursday morning to begin unloading more than a ton and a half of science experiments, crew supplies, station hardware and even a bit of fresh food.

Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst began the workday aboard the orbiting complex removing the controller panel assembly for the Common Berthing Mechanism at the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node where the Cygnus cargo craft was attached on Wednesday. Commander Steve Swanson with the assistance of Gerst used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Cygnus at 6:36 a.m. EDT Wednesday to set it up for its attachment to Harmony.

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