Cow ovarian cells are being sent to the space station on a Northrop Grumman cargo ship that launched into orbit early on Monday, November 7, along with a number of other science experiments.
At 5:32 a.m. EST (4:02 pm IST), the Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship was launched on the company’s Antares rocket in the direction of the International Space Station (ISS) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA‘s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
A fire alarm at Northrop Grumman’s flight control centre in Dulles, Virginia, which necessitated a building evacuation, caused the launch to be delayed by 24 hours.
However, Monday’s launch appeared to be faultless, with the Antares rocket illuminating the dawn sky as it entered orbit.
The Cygnus NG-18 spacecraft, dubbed SS Sally Ride in memory of astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space who passed away in 2012, arrived in orbit about 8 minutes later and was scheduled to unfold its twin solar arrays.
If everything goes according to plan, the Cygnus spacecraft should dock with the space station early on Wednesday November 7, where it will be retrieved by astronauts using a robotic arm around 5:05 a.m. EST (3:35 pm IST).
“This is an exciting time for research on the International Space Station,” Heidi Parris, NASA’s associate programme scientist for the station programme, said in a prelaunch briefing Nov. 5. “With each new vehicle that is introduced, not only new research but also new capabilities are introduced.”
Supplies for the astronauts of the space station weigh 8,265 pounds (3,749 kilogrammes) thanks to the Cygnus NG-18 cargo ship.
The mission, according to Northrop Grumman, is its biggest freight delivery to yet and carries an additional 44 pounds (20 kg) of cargo as a result of payload optimization.
Despite the cargo ship’s launch taking place a week after Halloween, NASA reported that there were some sweets for the astronauts on board the Cygnus.
In order to prepare for potential patient transplants in the future, Redwire Corporation will print a new meniscus and examine it in the lab following another space shipment.
Additionally, heart tissues and blood arteries will be created. Redwire also intends to test the effectiveness of drugs on “organoids,” or tiny replicas of organs, in space.
Blue Origin and Sierra Space are the project’s driving forces, while partners like Boeing and Amazon are also involved.
The launch will be broadcast live on NASA’s official YouTube channel and website beginning at 4 p.m.