Cygnus continues chase of ISS

Orbital Sciences Corp.’s robotic freighter flying trouble-free

Published On: Sep 20 2013 01:23:13 PM EDT

A new commercial cargo spacecraft remains on track to rendezvous with the International Space Station early Sunday, according to Local 6 news partner Florida Today.

Two days after launching from the coast of Virginia, Orbital Sciences Corp.’s robotic Cygnus freighter continues to fly trouble-free.

“All continuing to go very smoothly aboard Cygnus and aboard the International Space Station,” NASA TV commentator Kyle Herring reported this morning.

Orbital and NASA today will review early data from the flight, and the station’s Mission Management Team will meet Saturday morning to review the status of Sunday morning’s rendezvous.

Capture of the Cygnus by a robotic arm is tentatively planned for 7:25 a.m. Sunday.

Early today, the spacecraft was trailing the station by about 1,200 miles and closing the gap by about 80 miles each orbit, with additional thruster firings planned today and Saturday.

The Cygnus is packed with 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and other supplies, and some student experiments.

It is flying for the first time on a demonstration mission for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.

The mission is a precursor to the start of Orbital’s $1.9 billion contract for eight resupply missions.