Private Cygnus Spacecraft OA-7 To Carry NASA Cargo To ISS On March 19

Posted: Mar 7 2017, 6:39am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Private Cygnus Spacecraft OA-7 to Carry NASA Cargo to ISS on March 19
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Orbital ATK's Private Spacecraft Cygnus will make its seventh cargo flight, dubbed OA-7, on March 19. It will launch 3,400 kilograms of NASA Cargo to the International Space Station.

Orbital ATK, a private spacecraft company will start its seventh cargo mission on March 19 to the ISS. The cargo flight will carry science gears and supplies, and according to the schedule, the Cygnus cargo craft will fly off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during a 30-minute launch window beginning at 10:56 p.m. EDT (0256 GMT on March 20).

The cargo will carry around 7,500 lbs. (3,400 kilograms) of cargo and supplies for the astronauts on space station. Different experiments will be carried by Cygnus, like experiments on cubesats, a new habitat for growing plants and targeted cancer therapies.

On March 6, a teleconference was arranged where Henry Martin, small-satellites mission coordinator for NanoRacks in Houston observed that 38 cubesats, or micro-satellites, will be carried to space on the Cygnus cargo craft.

Four satellites out of 38 will deploy from Cygnus craft during the flight, whereas the rest of satellites will be deployed from ISS. About 28 cubesats from acrossthe world will fly on OA-7 before they are deployed from the ISS for mission QB50.

According to, the mission will explore earth’s lower thermosphere located 50 miles over earth’s surface and goes into outer space.

The OA-7 will also carry the plant growing habitat to space station, and it will be the biggest plant habitat in the orbiting lab. The lab will help astronauts grow crops larger than before, said Howard Levine, project scientist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during the teleconference.

A science test on OA-7 will research on new cancer fighting drugs that work in microgravity. Through this test, the space scientists want to see the function of cancer drugs in 3D, unlike 2D tests conducted on earth’s lab, explained principal project investigator SouravSinha, CEO of Oncolinx LLC, which develops antibody-drug conjugates.

The project will help in enhancing the effects of chemotherapy drugs with least side effects. The project is titled as “Efficiency and metabolism of Azonafide antibody drug conjugates in microgravity”

Other experiments will include the study of cell cultures using magnets. It will study cells when they grow into 3D shapes in microgravity. And one experiment will be Red Data 2 that will use a new device for data recording. It would be a last resupply mission of ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft.

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