Orbital ATK's cargo ship docks with space station

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-15 01:27:26|Editor: Zhou Xin
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship successfully docked with the International Space Station on Tuesday, resupplying the orbiting laboratory with about 7,400 pounds (3,350 kg) of science experiments and supplies, U.S. space agency NASA said.

The unmanned commercial spacecraft, on its eighth contracted resupply mission for NASA, was grappled by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the space station at 5:04 a.m. EST (1004 GMT).

About two hours later, it was bolted into place on the space station's Earth-facing port of the Unity module, where it will stay for about three weeks.

During its stay, Cygnus will be used as an extension of the space station for the first time by hosting experiments inside the cargo module.

After it leaves the station in early December, the spacecraft will deploy 14 CubeSats, or small satellites, before its fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere as it disposes of several tons of trash.

Cygnus was launched into orbit aboard an Orbital ATK Antares rocket at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Sunday.

Virginia-based Orbital ATK is one of two U.S. companies that provide cargo delivery services to the station for NASA. The other company is SpaceX in the western U.S. state of California.