Orbital in Good Position to Profit From NASA Commercial Human Spaceflight Policy

Artist's conception of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus freighter approaching the International Space Station.

New Private Space Freighter Has Solid Backing

Orbital’s cylindrical Cygnus freighter includes a pressurized cargo module that can carry up to 5,952 pounds (2,700 kg) of payload. Its service module contains avionics, power, communications and command and control.

“The service module is being designed to human safety standards, because it operates in close proximity with the space station before the robotic arm grapple,” Beneski noted…

Beneski declined to say that Orbital was aiming for certain to carry astronauts into orbit. But he did note that the existing systems put Orbital in a good position to take advantage of such an opportunity.

“Certainly we have the service module which could play a role there, and then the escape system is certainly within Orbital’s capability,” Beneski said. “We are ready should NASA go down that path.”

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