U.S. Cargo Ship Leaves Space Station

At the International Space Station, Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Orbital/ATK Cygnus cargo craft June 14, just hours after it was detached from the station. The spacecraft is loaded with trash and other unneeded items. Cygnus is also serving as a platform for an investigation called the Spacecraft Fire Experiment (SAFFIRE), that will deliberately ignite a fire in an enclosed environment so that instruments can measure flame growth and oxygen usage. This experiment is designed to improve the understanding of fire growth in microgravity and to safeguard future space missions. A group of nanosatellites is also being released from Cygnus which will be deorbited June 22 to send the craft into a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. Cygnus was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop an Atlas V rocket March 23, arriving at the station March 26 to deliver tons of experiments and supplies for the station’s residents.

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