A new mission is en route to the International Space Station (ISS). The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket took off on Wednesday, deliver the unarmed Cygnus ship into space. Although this Cygnus has a kind of crew – a crew of dozens of mice. The remotely operated space shuttle usually travels quickly between the ISS and the ISS, but the ISS will spend more time in space to perform its tasks.
You may know the Antares and Cygnus rockets that exploded during the rocket blast in 2014, while ATK Orbital was an independent company. This is now part of Northrop Grumman's innovation systems and no major incidents have occurred since the 2014 incident. Thus, the 40 mice attached to the rocket were safe and sound during their journey in the space.
About half of Cygnus' cargo is scientific equipment and materials, including mice. Rodents are part of a study on a vaccine against tetanus. The mice are divided into two groups, one receiving the vaccine and the other not. Scientists on Earth will examine mice when they are returned later.
The ship Cygnus also entered the space with 60 "ThinSats" built by elementary and high school students. These are smaller and simpler than CubeSats, carrying various electromagnetic, radiation and inertial sensors. Students will be able to collect real-time data from satellites. There is also a NASA CubeSat (SASSI 2) built by university students. This satellite and all ThinSats were released by Cygnus shortly after his separation from the upper floor on Wednesday.
The next agenda item is to dock at the ISS. Typically, the Cygnus Space Shuttle spent two months at the ISS before diving into the atmosphere where it is consumed. This time, Cygnus will embark on another task after leaving the station in June. Northrop Grumman and NASA will monitor the craft for up to seven months.
During this very long period of work, Cygnus will deploy even more Satellites Engineers have mounted many CubeSats around the outside of the ship to deploy during the summer. Another Cygnus spacecraft will be launched later this year. The mission will also demonstrate the team's ability to conduct two missions at the same time.