On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, the uncrewed NG-16 Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The resupply vehicle will deliver more than four tons of food, fuel, and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). This Cygnus cargo launch will be the fifth under the aerospace company’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Live coverage of the launch will begin at 5:56 p.m. EDT (21:56 UTC) on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and its mobile app. The spacecraft will spend about two days in orbit around Earth before docking at around 6:00 a.m. (10:00 UTC) on August 12. Watch here.
Cygnus will carry experiments that use engineered tissue to study muscle loss, analyze how slime molds grow, and demonstrate 3D printing using regolith. That’s the loose rock and soil found on the surfaces of planetary bodies such as the moon. According to NASA, the spacecraft also will bring a new mounting bracket that will enable the installation of the next pair of upgraded solar arrays at a later date.
Since August 2000, ISS resupply missions have been regularly flown by the Russian Progress spacecraft, the European Automated ...