Cygnus supply ship reaches space station with titanium toilet

Cygnus supply ship reaches space station with titanium toilet

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus supply ship is grappled by the Canadian-built robotic arm at the International Spaceport Station. Credit: NASA TV/ Spaceflight Now

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus freight ship came to the International Space Station on Monday, delivering almost 4 tons of materials and experiments to the research study laboratory and its team, consisting of a $23 million titanium toilet and a high-definition virtual truth electronic camera prepared for usage on a future spacewalk.

Topping an automated laser-guided rendezvous series, the Cygnus freight truck moved within 40 feet (12 meters) of the spaceport station early Monday, close enough for the laboratory’s Canadian-built robotic arm to reach out and grapple it.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, helped by Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, took control of the 58- foot-long (177- meter) robotic arm to record the Cygnus spacecraft at 5: 32 a.m. EDT (0932 GMT) Monday.

Northrop Grumman named the Cygnus supply ship the “S.S. Kalpana Chawla” in honor of the first woman of Indian descent to fly into area. Chawla flew on two space shuttle bus objectives, and she passed away with her six crewmates on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

” In the name of area exploration, all have actually provided some, some have given all,” Cassidy said after recording the Cygnus spacecraft Monday.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy has actually captured the Cygnus freight freighter using the spaceport station’s Canadian-built robotic arm.

This Cygnus is named for astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who died with 6 crewmates on the space shuttle bus Columbia in 2003. https://t.co/2hLjcCgtBx pic.twitter.com/M5uNHClDDr

— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) October 5, 2020

Ground controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston took control of the robotic arm later Monday early morning to connect the Cygnus spacecraft to a berthing port on the space station’s Unity module, where it will stay for around two months.

Cassidy and his crewmates will open hatches leading to the S.S. Kalpana Chawla’s pressurized freight compartment to begin unloading the materials and experiments inside.

The arrival of the S.S. Kalpana Chawla supply ship Monday marked the 14 th shipment of freight to the spaceport station by a Cygnus spacecraft because 2013.

The Cygnus cargo objective blasted off Friday night from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport aboard an Antares rocket, following delays earlier in the week caused by bad weather and a ground software application issue.

The S.S. Kalpana Chawla is packed with 7,829 pounds (3,551 kgs) of materials and experiments heading to the International Spaceport Station. Here’s a breakdown of the cargo manifest supplied by NASA:

  • 2,712 pounds (1,230 kilograms) of vehicle hardware
  • 2,683 pounds (1,217 kilograms) of scientific investigations
  • 1,874 pounds (850 kgs) of crew products
  • 333 pounds (151 kgs) of spacewalk equipment
  • 156 pounds (71 kgs) of computer system resources

The Cygnus supply ship will remain berthed Unity module till mid-December, when it will be launched by the station’s robotic arm. The automated cargo provider, filled with garbage after its departure from the station, will carry out an in-flight combustion experiment prior to returning to the atmosphere and burning up over the South Pacific Ocean to end its objective.

The fresh food packed inside the S.S. Kalpana Chawla supply ship consists of prosciutto, chorizo, salami, summer sausage, brie, smoked gouda, smoked provolone, and fruits and vegetables.

Among clothes and other crew arrangements, the Cygnus mission will deliver an upgraded toilet to the space station, enabling astronauts to check its performance prior to a similar commode flies on the Orion team capsule to the moon.

The new toilet, or Universal Waste Management System in NASA-speak, is roughly the size of a camper commode. It has to do with 65 percent smaller sized and 40 percent lighter than the toilet currently on the spaceport station, according to Melissa McKinley, logistics reduction supervisor for the company’s advanced expedition systems department.

NASA partnered with Collins Aerospace to develop the new toilet, which authorities said is better suited for female crew members than the existing commode on the space station. Engineers made parts of the toilet out of titanium to hold up against acid utilized to pre-treat urine before the fluid is recycled back into drinking water for the astronauts, said Jim Fuller, the toilet’s project manager at Collins Aerospace.

“In space, where we have microgravity, we don’t have that luxury.

” When the astronauts need to ‘go,’ we wish to allow them to boldly go,” Fuller stated.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, in blue, gets an instruction on the brand-new spaceport station toilet earlier this year. Credit: NASA

Designers desired the new toilet to be easier to utilize for women flying on the space station,

” The funnel design was totally re-contoured to better accommodate the female anatomy,” McKinley stated. “And especially, this is an issue when the team members are trying to do ‘double ops,’ when they’re they’re doing both defecation and urination at the very same time, just the positioning of all of that simultaneously … Trying to make that more appropriate for female usage was a big chauffeur.”

There’s also a virtual reality cam flying to the spaceport station that will capture images of a future spacewalk.

The cosmetics company Estée Lauder is also flying 10 bottles of its “Advanced Night Repair work” serum to the space station, where the bottles will be photographed with Earth as a backdrop. Estée Lauder states it will utilize the images in social media and marketing campaigns, and then plans to auction the serum went back to Earth from the space station, with the profits going to charity.

It belongs to a new NASA program that dedicates 5 percent of space station freight capacity and crew time to business marketing activities. Estée Lauder will compensate NASA around $128,000 for the spaceport station resources used in the night serum marketing initiative, according to Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of business spaceflight development.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft shares spaceport station resupply duties with SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, the Russian Development resupply truck, and Japanese freight missions.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1

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