Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at International Space Station

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 24, 2017

Two days after Fischer and Yurchikhin dock at the ISS the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft launched earlier this week from Florida will arrive to resupply the station. It finally arrived at the space station early Saturday morning, where the crew welcomed it with open robotic arms.

John Glenn's initial orbit around the Earth in 1962 helped establish the United States' presence in space, and paved the way for every astronaut that would follow him.

The Cygnus spacecraft is packed with 7,626 pounds (3,459 kilograms) of crew supplies, hardware and dozens of experiments aimed at studying fire, growing food and cancer therapies.

NASA's Peggy Whitson, the crew's commander, Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and France's Thomas Pesquet greeted Fischer and Yurchikhin with cheers and hugs.

The private supply ship was moved and bolted into place a few hours later at 8:19 a.m. EDT to physically berth and join the station at the Unity module.

Pesquet said the more than three tons of pressurized cargo in the Cygnus spacecraft will be put to good use by Expedition 51 in its mission of research, exploration and discovery.

The mission is named the "S.S. John Glenn" in tribute to legendary NASA astronaut John Glenn - the first American to orbit Earth back in February 1962.

Fischer and Yurchikhin will spend more than four months aboard the orbiting space station before also returning to Earth in September.

It has been a busy week on ISS.

A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, 43, and veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, 58, took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday at 1:13 p.m. local time (0713 UTC).

The 57-year-old biochemist has also performed eight spacewalks, more than any other woman, and a ninth may be in the offing.

The Associated Press said Wednesday that Whitson will have spent 535 days in space as of Monday, besting astronaut Jeffrey Williams' current record.

GO for capture of S.S. John Glenn #Cygnus on 22 April 2017 with Canadarm2.

After Cygnus departs the space station, the spacecraft will again be used as a scientific platform, executing a series of secondary payload missions. Last month, Tech Times reported the live streaming of three spacewalks, two of them involving the seasoned astronaut - at the time serving as Flight Engineer for Expedition 50.

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