Space station supply ship with 3,500 lbs. of garbage to burn up on re-entry
In this image from video provided by NASA the Cygnus resupply spacecraft approaches the International Space Station early Sunday Jan. 12, 2013. The spacecraft is packed with 3,000 pounds of equipment and experiments provided by NASA, as well as food and even some ants for an educational project. Christmas presents also are on board for the six space station residents; the delivery is a month late. (AP Photo/NASA)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, August 15, 2014 7:14AM EDT
APE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A commercial cargo ship has ended its monthlong space station visit.
Early Friday, astronauts aboard the International Space Station released the Cygnus supply ship, now full of trash for disposal.
Orbital Sciences Corp. launched the Cygnus from Virginia in mid-July under a NASA contract. The unmanned craft hauled more than 3,000 pounds of crucial cargo to the orbiting outpost. Now it's loaded with rubbish, some 3,500 pounds' worth.
On Sunday, Orbital Sciences will steer the craft down through the atmosphere to burn up. The six space station astronauts will attempt to record the fiery re-entry for engineering analysis. The same documentation will be done when a European supply ship departs early next year. That ship, launched from French Guiana, delivered its shipment just a few days ago.