Orbital’s Cygnus team has updated its thruster burn schedule for the spacecraft’s controlled reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Following its unberthing and departure from the ISS on October 22 at approximately 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively, Cygnus is now expected to reenter the atmosphere on October 23rd at approximately 2:18 p.m. (eastern) over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand.
Editor’s Note — Here are some additional updates on the mission:
NASASpaceFlight.com says that Cygnus is performing well while docked to the station, with the exception of erratic performance by the ship’s cabin fan. That anomaly does not appear to be affecting the activities of the crew, which has completed unloading cargo and is now filling the ship with trash that will be disposed of when Cygnus burns up in the atmosphere.
Space News reports that Orbital’s first paid cargo mission to the station will take place in late December or early January. Original plans were to launch the next Cygnus in early December. Orbital officials say the government shutdown has had no impact on mission preparation’s even though NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF). Orbital employees have been able to access the state-run Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at WFF during the budget impasse.