Image: Orbital Science's commercial spacecraft Cygnus-1

Feb 19, 2014
Credit: NASA/ESA

Orbital Science's commercial spacecraft Cygnus-1 left the International Space Station today, 17 February 2014, after spending around a month in space.

This image shows a previous Cygnus, the first , as it approached the orbital outpost in September 2013. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg caught and berthed the spacecraft with the Station's robotic arm.

Cygnus, which means swan in Greek, was the second commercial spacecraft to bring supplies to the International Space Station. Developed by US company Orbital Science, the spacecraft uses a European-built pressurised module that has a long history of use in .

Developed by Thales Alenia Space and built in Turin, Italy, versions of the spacecraft's pressure vessel were used for ESA's Spacelab laboratory that flew on the Space Shuttle, the Columbus laboratory on the Station and ESA's own supply ship, ATV.

Cygnus-1 is now floating freely around Earth and will burn up harmlessly when it enters the atmosphere tomorrow.

Explore further: Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Orbital's cargo ship aims to dock at space station

Jan 12, 2014

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus spaceship is on track to berth with the International Space Station early Sunday, marking its second trip to the research outpost, the company said.

Cygnus cargo craft readies to leave space station

Oct 21, 2013

A private cargo ship built by Orbital Sciences Corporation is preparing to leave the International Space Station early Tuesday and burn up on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, NASA said Monday.

Recommended for you

Russian, American ready for a year in space

2 hours ago

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

15 hours ago

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

17 hours ago

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

Japan launches replacement spy satellite

18 hours ago

Japan on Thursday successfully launched a replacement spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, as an existing device comes to the end of its working life.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.