New Cygnus Photo Release from Orbital Sciences Corporation:
Orbital Sciences Corporation released the attached images of the first two Cygnus™ spacecraft service modules in production at the company’s Dulles, VA Satellite Manufacturing Facility (SMF). The service module on the left will carry out the program’s demonstration flight to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year. The service module on the right will carry out the first of eight cargo resupply missions under Orbital’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, also scheduled for later this year. A third Cygnus service module (not shown) is also undergoing integration in a separate clean room facility at Orbital’s Dulles facility.
Cygnus is an advanced maneuvering spacecraft being developed by Orbital to demonstrate cargo delivery services under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement. In addition to the COTS development and demonstration program, Orbital will utilize the Cygnus to perform the ISS resupply flights under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. This NASA contract authorizes eight missions between 2012 and 2015 carrying approximately 20,000 kg of cargo to the ISS.
In the photo, two service modules are being integrated and assembled in a class 100,000 clean room prior to the beginning of environmental testing, the last major phase of the spacecraft development and testing prior to shipment to the Wallops Island, VA launch site, where it will be integrated with the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) that was delivered in 2011. The Cygnus service module on the left will begin its thermal vacuum testing in February, followed by mechanical environmental tests one month later. The banner seen on the wall above the Cygnus service modules is a full-scale depiction of the complete Cygnus system with its solar arrays deployed.
Other photos, images and video animation of the launch sequence of Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft and the Antares launch vehicle that will carry the Cygnus into orbit are available at: http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/ImagesMultimedia/ http://www.orbital.com/Antares/ImagesMultimedia/