Orbital Processes Cygnus for First ISS Flight

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Technicians load cargo into the first ISS-bound Cygnus freighter. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

Space Station Cargo Loaded in to Cargo Module at Wallops
Orbital Sciences Update
March 2013

Orbital’s Cygnus Cargo team recently loaded cargo into the COTS Demonstration Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) in advance of the COTS Demonstration Flight. The cargo from NASA arrived at Wallops Flight Facility building H-100 by truck from Houston Texas on March 19th and was accepted by the Cygnus team that evening.

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Technicians secure cargo in the first ISS-bound Cygnus freighter. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

The cargo was then unpacked, weighed, measured and inspected to ensure that the cargo successfully survived the trip. The cargo was then loaded into the Pressurized Cargo Module starting on March 22nd and completing on March 23rd. A total of 1235 lbs of cargo (560 kg) was loaded into the Cygnus.

In addition, the Cygnus team configured the interior of the module for flight. The PCM is now ready to be mated to the Service Module when it arrives at H-100 on March26th.

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Cargo secured in the first ISS-bound Cygnus freighter. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

An additional 376 lbs of cargo (171 kg) will be added to Cygnus once it is mated to the Antares rocket just prior to launch.

First Cygnus Service Module Shipped to Wallops
Orbital Sciences Update
March 2013

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Cygnus Service Module in its shipping container at Orbital’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility, Dulles, Virginia, just prior to departure for Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

On March 26th 2013, the Orbital Sciences Cygnus team shipped the Service Module (SM) for the COTS Demonstration mission from Orbital’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility to Building H-100 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF).

The SM, encased in a protective shipping container, made the approximately 200 mile trip by truck to the H-100 facility high bay, where the trailer was dropped off. The Cygnus integration and test team will carefully remove the SM from the shipping container, inspect the SM for any damage from the trip, and begin launch site processing.

In early April, the SM will be mated to the Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM), which was loaded with cargo and configured for flight on March 23rd. The complete Cygnus spacecraft will then be transferred from H-100 to building V-55 at WFF for hypergolic propellant loading. Once fueled, the Cygnus will be ready for integration on the Antares rocket.