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Cygnus NG-12

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 2019-071A

Description

The Cygnus NG-12 spacecraft, dubbed the SS Alan Bean, is named after the late Apollo and Skylab astronaut who died on May 26, 2018, at the age of 86. This Cygnus will launch 50 years to the month after Bean, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon flew to the Moon on NASA's Apollo 12 mission, during which Bean became the fourth human to walk on the lunar surface. Bean was the lunar module pilot aboard Intrepid with mission commander Conrad when they landed on Moon at the Ocean of Storms on Nov. 19, 1969.

Cygnus comprises two main sections: a Service Module from Northrop Grumman and an enhanced PCM (Pressurized Cargo Module) developed and built by Thales Alenia Space. The enhanced PCM flown on this mission continues support of the new late-load capability demonstrated on the 11th mission as well as increasing the power and data capabilities for science payloads. Previously, all cargos had to be loaded into the module about four days prior to launch. This new capability will allow time-sensitive science experiments to be loaded into Cygnus just 24 hours before the liftoff.

The enhanced PCM flown on this mission continues support of the new late-load capability demonstrated on the 11th mission as well as increasing the power and data capabilities for science payloads. Previously, all cargos had to be loaded into the module about four days prior to launch. This new capability will allow time-sensitive science experiments to be loaded into Cygnus just 24 hours before the liftoff.

The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the space station around 4:10 a.m on Monday, 4 November. Expedition 61 astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA will use the space station's robotic arm to capture Cygnus, and NASA's Andrew Morgan will monitor telemetry. The spacecraft is scheduled to stay at the space station until January.

This mission, designated NG-12, will be in orbit at the same time as its predecessor, the NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft, which launched in April on an extended duration flight. The NG-12 Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until January before it disposes of several thousand pounds of trash through its fiery reentry into Earth's atmosphere. The ability to fly two vehicles at once further demonstrates the robustness of Cygnus to support the goals of NASA's ambitious missions.

Alternate Names

  • CygnusNG12
  • 44701

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2019-11-02
Launch Vehicle: Antares
Launch Site: Wallops Island, United States

Funding Agency

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)

Discipline

  • Resupply/Refurbishment/Repair

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

 
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