Today, on the twentieth of February, another successful launch of the Antares launch vehicle was held from the Wallops Cosmodrome (Virginia). This is the fourteenth launch of the Northrop Grumman Corporation launch vehicle to the International Space Station within the framework of the NASA programme.
The NG-15 mission is carried out to resupply the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft will deliver approximately 3.6 tons of materials and equipment to the station.
According to tradition of Northrop Grumman, this Cygnus spacecraft also has its own name, this time in honor of Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician, an African-American woman, who overcame gender and race barriers and performed calculations that were critical to the success of numerous manned spaceflights.
The Cygnus spacecraft will remain docked to the ISS for three months, after which it will return with a disposal cargo weighing about 3.7 t.
During the NG-15 mission, several CubeSat satellites developed by the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi and 30 ThinSats satellites will be put into the orbit.
ThinSats is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematical information program (STEM) sponsored by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority for students of 4-12th grade. These satellites were built by stuents from 70 schools located in 9 states.
For reference: starting in 2009, YUZHMASH began work on creating the main structure of the first stage of the Antares LV. The enterprise manufactures the stage of the launch vehicle in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises, including DO «Yuzhnoye», «Hartron-ARCOS», Kyivprilad, «Hartron-YUKOM», «CHEZARA», «RAPID».