Orbital Cargo Ship Departs Space Station

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship left the International Space Station Friday on its way to a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

The spacecraft was released from the orbiting lab at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), NASA said in a live broadcast of the event.

"Cygnus is free of the International Space Station," a NASA commentator said.

The spaceship will stay in orbit until Sunday morning, when it will fire its engines and push its way into Earth's atmosphere.

The de-orbit burn is scheduled for 8:33 am (1233 GMT) Sunday and the spacecraft should burn up at 9:11 am.

The crew on board the space station plans to document the spacecraft's plasma trail.

The cargo ship launched July 13 and arrived at the ISS three days later, bearing a load of 3,653 pounds (1,657 kilograms) of gear, food and science experiments.

The resupply mission is part of a billion dollar contract with NASA for multiple journeys to the ISS.

Source: AFP
Date: Aug 15, 2014