NASA is breathing a sigh of relief after a successful demonstration in which a temporarily moored Cygnus cargo ship has been converted into a booster engine for the International Space Station. Favorable test indicates that NASA has the means to adjust the orbit of the space station if Russia decides to leave the orbital position, as head of Russian space threatened to do it.
The limited reboost test was conducted on Saturday 25th June and lasted for 5 minutes and 1 second, according to to NASA. The Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was able to elevate the International Space Station by about 582 feet (161 meters) at aphelion (the largest orbital distance of an object to Earth) and 2,641 feet (805 meters) at perigee (the closest distance to Earth). The space station orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 260 miles (418 kilometers).
The ability of the Cygnus to perform this feat is not much of a surprise, as the car performed a similar test in 2018. However, the difference here is that a Cygnus two-axle delta engine was used in the transmission, making this mission “the first to show this ability enhanced as a standard service for NASA,” the space agency said.
Saturday’s test was the second attempt to perform the re-support of the International Space Station. On June 20, NASA and Northrop Grumman finished The test is only 5 seconds away. Include the newly completed test “Lessons from [the] Northrop Grumman explained in press release. “The investigation by the engineers showed that the parameters observed were as expected for the reinforcing and the flight limits were adjusted for Saturday’s successful attempt.”
This demonstration of Cygnus as a repeater for the International Space Station is likely in response to Dmitry Rogozin, President Roscosmos, Threaten to leave the space station entirely, possibly as early as 2025. If Russia abandons the ISS, it will remove the only other current means of maneuvering the ISS: the Progress spacecraft. The International Space Station requires orbital adjustment from time to time, either as a result of normal operations or to avoid stray space junk.
“Re-enhancement of the International Space Station with Cygnus adds a critical capability to help maintain and support the space station,” said Steve Keren, vice president of Civil, Commercial and Tactical Space Systems at Northrop Grumman, in the company statement. “It also demonstrates the tremendous capacity that Cygnus brings to the International Space Station and future space exploration efforts.”
Regardless, the space shuttle was able to act as a catalyst for the ISS, as was the European Space Agency’s Automated Transfer Vehicle, but both options were scrapped. In an email, Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the Russian Zvezda module could also do the trick, but the Progress vehicles are required to inject fuel into the Zvezda and then separate it before restarting. McDowell added that prior to Zvezda’s arrival, the Russian Zarya unit had been used in reconsolidation operations from 1998 to 2000.
The limited reboost test is complete, and NASA and Northrop Grumman are now in the midst of ending the Cygnus special mission. Cargo ship name sidewalk sellers, arrived at the International Space Station on February 21 with 8,300 pounds of supplies, devices, and other cargo for NASA. However, as of 7:07 a.m. ET Tuesday The vehicle is no longer connected to the space station. An orbiting ejection engine fire is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29 to induce the planned devastating entry. Filled with ISS junk, the spent cargo ship will burn safely in Earth’s atmosphere.
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