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Cygnus D1 [NASA]

Orbital and NASA's Johnson Space Center are jointly developing a new space transportation system in a three-year cooperative program to support the International Space Station (ISS). The COTS program will involve full-scale development and flight demonstration of a commercial cargo delivery system. The COTS system consists of:

  • Antares, a new medium-class launch vehicle developed by Orbital
  • Cygnus, an advanced maneuvering spacecraft, and
  • Several interchangeable modules for pressurized and unpressurized cargo.

The Spacecraft consists of a Service Module (SM), which can be used with either a Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) or an Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM) (now cancelled). The PCM is based on the MPLM-Logistics-Module, while the UCM is based on the Express Cargo Carrier, which were both used with the Shuttle. The PCM is manufactured by Thales-Alenia.

The Cygnus spacecraft is capable of delivering up to 2,000 kg of pressurized cargo to the ISS.

The COTS demonstration mission is scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subject to NASA's needs, operational COTS missions would follow beginning in the first half of 2011. Orbital will be capable of conducting two to eight operational missions a year by 2012, together with other non-COTS Antares launches. The enhanced Cygnus with increased payload will be used beginning with the fifth Cygnus mission.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Space Station logistics
Operator: NASA
Contractors: Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)
Propulsion: IHI BT-4, 32 × MR-106M
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 4127 kg (#D1); 4923 kg (#2); 5644 kg (#3)
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Cygnus D1 (Orb D, S.S. G. David Low) 2013-051A 18.09.2013 WI LC-0A Antares-110
Cygnus CRS-1 (Orb 1, S.S. C. Gordon Fullerton) 2014-003A 09.01.2014 WI LC-0A Antares-120 with Flock-1 1, ..., 28, ArduSat 2, LituanicaSAT 1, LitSat 1, SkyCube, UAPSat 1
Cygnus CRS-2 (Orb 2, S.S. Janice Voss) 2014-039A 13.07.2014 WI LC-0A Antares-120 with Flock-1b 1, ..., 28, TechEdSat 4, MicroMAS, GEARRS 1, Lambdasat
Cygnus CRS-3 (Orb 3, S.S. Deke Slayton) 2014-F02 28.10.2014 WI LC-0A F Antares-130 with Flock-1d 1, ..., 26, Arkyd 3, RACE, GOMX 2


Further Cygnus missions:

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