Cygnus Rendezvous with ISS Set for Sunday

Illustration of Cygnus in orbit. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)
Illustration of Cygnus in orbit. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

Cygnus Mission Update
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Via Orbital Sciences Corporation

The Cygnus spacecraft remains healthy in-orbit, with all major on-board systems performing as expected. Over the past several days, the Cygnus engineering team developed, validated and uploaded the one-line software “patch” that resolved the GPS data roll-over discrepancy that was identified during the initial approach to the ISS last Saturday.

Orbital and NASA are currently discussing the best rendezvous opportunity, with the current trajectory plan supporting Sunday morning, September 29 as the next opportunity to rendezvous with and approach the ISS. This schedule is still subject to final review and approval by the NASA and Orbital teams.

The Cygnus spacecraft is currently holding at about 2,400 km behind the ISS. Later this evening, Cygnus will perform the first of a series of thruster burns to begin the journey back towards the ISS to be in the right position for a rendezvous as early as Sunday morning.

Since its launch from Wallops Island, VA on September 18 aboard our Antares rocket, the Cygnus mission operations team has been monitoring the spacecraft 24/7 with two operational teams – the blue team and the green team — pulling alternate shifts. Program personnel are well-rested and fully prepared for Sunday’s approach and rendezvous. NASA TV will broadcast the rendezvous operations, including approach, grapple and installation beginning at 4:30 a.m. (EDT) on Sunday morning. You can watch live at www.nasa.gov/ntv