On Sunday, November 12 2017 Orbital ATK successfully launched its Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus spacecraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch marked Orbital ATK’s eighth resupply mission (OA-8) to the International Space Station (ISS). For the OA-8 mission, Cygnus was loaded with approximately 7,400 pounds of cargo including supplies and provisions for the space station crew, space station hardware, computer equipment and science experiments for the ISS.
The Cygnus rendezvous was supported by two of Neptec’s TriDAR rendezvous and docking laser systems. The TriDAR provides real-time 6 degrees of freedom data for guidance during rendezvous and docking procedures. The TriDAR systems supported the final 1000m (1km) to ~10 meter portion of the flight.
Cygnus arrived at the International Space Station and was captured by Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Randy Bresnik using the Canadarm2 at 5:04 AM on Tuesday, November 14. Cygnus is expected to remain at the International Space Station until early December when it will depart with more than 4,000 pounds of disposable cargo.