Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed SS Katherine Johnson, to depart from International Space Station

Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply
Posted at 10:46 AM, Jun 29, 2021

A Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS Katherine Johnson, is scheduled to depart the International Space Station Tuesday, after months of delivering supplies, products, and more to the orbital laboratory.

After more than four months of delivering nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo, the SS Katherine Johnson will depart at noon.

Northrop Grumman named the spacecraft after local NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, a Black woman broke through barriers of gender and race, calculating orbital mechanics for some of the first U.S. human spaceflights.

The space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm is set to detach Cygnus from the Unity module’s Earth-facing port at 12:25 p.m. NASA astronaut Megan McArthur will monitor Cygnus’ systems upon its departure from the space station.

It will deploy five CubeSats after leaving the orbiting lab.

According to a release, Cygnus will then perform a deorbit engine firing to set up a destructive re-entry in which the spacecraft, filled with waste the space station crew packed, will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Cygnus arrived at the International Space Station on February 22, after a launch two days prior from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island.