NASA

Blog about NASA activities

The Cygnus S.S. Patricia “Patty” Hilliard Robertson cargo spacecraft captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm (Image NASA TV)

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, launched last Tuesday, January 30, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Loral O’Hara, assisted by his colleague Jasmin Moghbeli, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Unity module after about two hours.

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus S.S. Patricia “Patty” Hilliard Robertson cargo spacecraft blasted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (Photo courtesy SpaceX)

A few hours ago, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on its NG-20 or CRS NG-20 mission. After about 15 minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and set on its course. This is the first of at least three resupply missions to the International Space Station with various payloads launched using the Falcon 9 rocket while waiting for the new version of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket to be ready.

The Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft blasting off to begin the Ax-3 mission (Image courtesy Axiom Space)

A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft was launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on the Axiom Mission 3, or simply Ax-3, mission. After about twelve minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage. It will spend about 14 days in orbit, almost all of which will be docked at the International Space Station. It also serves commercial purposes in a collaboration between SpaceX, Axiom Space, and various companies and national space agencies to access the Station for the purpose of conducting tasks useful for the development of new technologies and for scientific research.

The Dragon cargo spacecraft departing the International Space Station to end its CRS-29 mission (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-29 (Cargo Resupply Service 29) mission for NASA splashing down smoothly off the Florida Coast. The Dragon left the International Space Station a little more than 19 hours earlier. For SpaceX, this was the 9th mission of the 2nd contract with NASA to transport supplies to the Station with the new version of the Dragon cargo spacecraft.

Shortly after the splashdown, SpaceX’s recovery ship went to retrieve the Dragon to transport it to the coast. The cargo brought back to Earth will be delivered to NASA within a few hours. The Dragon spacecraft reached the International Space Station on November 11, 2023.

The Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft docking with the International Space Station in its CRS-29 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, SpaceX’s Dragon 2 spacecraft docked with the International Space Station’s Harmony module completing the first part of its CRS-29 mission. Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara monitored the operation but the cargo spacecraft, which blasted off when it was Thursday night in the USA, completed the maneuvers automatically without any problem.

The CRS-29 mission will end in about a month with the return to Earth. The second version of the Dragon cargo spacecraft can stay in space much longer than the first version but for now, NASA hasn’t extended its missions.