A few hours ago the ICON (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) satellite was launched using a Pegasus XL rocket by Northrop Grumman brought to an altitude of about 11,900 meters by an L-1011 airplane, also by Northrop Grumman, modified for this purpose. After a little more than 11 minutes, ICON was brought into a low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 575 kilometers, where the solar panels regularly deployed and sent the first signals.
NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) announced the conclusions of a long investigation into the failure in the launch of its OCO and Glory satellites in 2009 and 2011. In both cases, the fairing on top of the rockets that protected the satellites didn’t separate and the extra weight caused the the satellites to fall down. The investigations revealed falsifications by the contractor Sapa Profiles, Inc. (SPI) that provided defective materials with false certifications. The investigation involved the US Department of Justice.
The Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, launched last Wednesday, April 16, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Anne McClain, assisted by her colleague David Saint-Jacques, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Unity node after about two hours.
A few hours ago Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), part of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) on Wallops Island. After about nine minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its 11th official mission, called NG-11 but also CRS NG-11, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA, the second for Northrop Grumman Corporation after completing the acquisition of Orbital ATK.
The Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, launched last Saturday, November 17, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, assisted by her colleague Alexander Gerst, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Unity node after about two hours.