The private space agency Orbital ATK launches its Antares rocket with Cygnus spacecraft at 4:39 AM EDT from the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This mission is the 9th flight for the NASA which was headed to ISS. The spacecraft is carrying the load of about 7,400 pounds which includes scientific equipment and supplies and it will dock on Thursday on May 24th, 2018.
The experiments which are carried to the orbit are quantum physics study which will attempt to cool the atoms to a billionth of degree which is above the absolute zero. The next test involves a novel technique which will be used for separating liquids and one of them is devoted to learning about the concrete setups in the absence of the gravity.
According to Aleksandra Radlinska, who is the principal investigator for the Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification or MICS, present at Pennsylvania State University said, “A lot of time when I’m asked what’s the research that I do, and I just say simply concrete, people give me a blank look and say they don’t give a Ph.D. for concrete research.” He added by saying, “Because we are looking into colonizing space, we want to go to the moon and deep space beyond and we will need shelters for the human mission, we will need to protect equipment from the radiation effects and impacts they could experience, we need to find a way to produce these shelters and produce a safe environment for humans or instruments.”
When the Cygnus Spacecraft will depart the station, then after seven weeks it will be releasing about sox CubeSats. The tiny satellites will be carrying everything from small, experimental radar instruments which will help in studying the precipitation which takes place in the Earth’s atmosphere and to study the new technologies which are designed to cut through the growing amount of radio frequency interference which is present around the Earth. The Cygnus will be carrying the new communication system which is known as Common Communication for Visiting Vehicles (C2V2) for the very first time.
When the Cygnus will reach the ISS. The astronauts will start to unload the cargo ship and they will re-pack it with trash and no-longer-needed equipment. If everything goes as per plan, then it will be unberthed and released back to Earth in mid-July.