April 15, 2021

Northrop Grumman rocket launches a cargo ship for NASA

2 min read

In the space calendar’s latest reports, NASA has taken a significant step with the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket. This spacecraft liftoff a Cygnus cargo ship into space whose main contents are vital supplies for astronauts. The Antares rocket is a two-stage spacecraft that took off in the NASA Flight Facility in Virginia on February 20th. This craft carries over 8,200 lbs of cargo which necessities such as food, scientific equipment, new hardware, and spacewalk equipment for astronauts in International space.

It is a 139-feet tall rocket, and it took a successful launch in the 5-minute window that the experts planned. The Cygnus NG-15 cargo ship is adapted from Katherine Johnson, the famous NASA mathematician who assisted in creating John Glenn’s historical orbital flight. It was the first flight by an American spaceman. This NG-15 mission marks the 15th operational supply mission to space since 2014 and the 4th Antares launch.

What is the power behind this rocket? Its first stage uses two Russian-made RD-181 engines with the rocket-grade kerosene generating 864,000 pounds of thrust during the liftoff process. The second stage uses the solid-fuel, and it is taken to the preliminary orbit, where it begins its journey into the Earth’s orbit. If the rocket lands the cargo into space, Japanese Astronaut Soichi Noguchi who works under the Aerospace Exploration Agency, will take the vessel by February 22nd. He will pick up the shipment alongside Mike Hopkins, a NASA astronaut who will serve as his backup. The craft will stay in the station for three months before reentering into the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.

Northrop Grumman makes the Antares rocket and the Cygnus spacecraft, and the developers have a habit of naming their crafts after fallen heroes with significant contributions to the space world. This craft has chosen to honor the late Katherine Johnson, one of the best mathematicians in spaceflight. Frank DeMauro, the vice president of tactical space in Northrop Grumman, spoke about its Cygnus. He also pointed out the reason for selecting Mrs. Katherine due to her contribution to America’s first human flight.

This cargo ship holds a special delivery that will serve as a resupply for the astronauts in International space. In a recent briefing before the launch, NASA officials said that the ship includes the crew’s treat. David Brady, an associate program scientist, spoke of ensuring that the members are happy and have all the necessities. Also, there are research experiments regarding microgravity and its effects on the human body. The ship has multiple experiments that various scientists are trying to figure out or prove. There are also research details from students that this study will help them determine some facts.


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