Cygnus successfully departed from the International Space Station on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. For updates on the current status of the mission, please visit our Antares/Cygnus microsite. Additional information is also available on the NASA Commercial Space Transportation web site.
Antares Mission Description
The two-stage Antares space launch vehicle utilized a liquid-fueled first stage powered by two Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-26 engines and a solid motor ATK Castor 30 upper stage to boost Cygnus into orbit. The powered launch sequence lasted about ten minutes from liftoff through the separation of Cygnus from the launch vehicle at a target orbit of approximately 180 miles by 160 miles at an inclination of 51.6°.
Cygnus Mission Description
After separation from Antares, Cygnus deployed its solar arrays and underwent initial check-out. On Thursday, September 19 and Friday, September 20, the spacecraft conducted a series of burns to raise its orbit to bring it within 4 km of the station and conducted the first demonstration maneuvers to demonstrate its safety capabilities. As the result of a data discrepancy between Cygnus and the ISS, and the arrival of a Soyuz capsule at the station on September 25, rendezvous with the ISS was rescheduled for Sunday September 29.
On its final approach to the station on the 29th, Cygnus demonstrated a series of additional demonstration maneuvers prior to receiving authorization from NASA to rendezvous with the station. When the vehicle approaches to within 12 meters, astronauts used the station's robotic arm to grapple Cygnus and berth it to the Harmony node of the station. Cygnus remained berthed at the ISS for a little over three weeks prior to departing from the station on October 22, 2013.
For quick facts, more information about Antares and Cygnus, and detailed information about the mission, click on the images below:
Click on the images below to vew the PDF's.
Orbital Antares Web Page
Orbital Antares Fact Sheet
Orbital Cygnus Fact Sheet
Orbital COTS/CRS Fact Sheet
NASA Commercial Space Transportation Web Site