Orbital cargo ship makes planned re-entry to Earth

August 18, 2014
This picture provided by NASA shows the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launching with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard on July 13, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship disintegrated as planned Sunday as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere after a month-long resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft had been released from the orbiting lab on Friday at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), and then stayed in independent orbit for two days, before firing its engines and pushing into Earth's atmosphere.

The de-orbit burn had been scheduled to take just under 30 minutes.

The crew on board the space station watched and documented the 's plasma trail, posting pictures of the comet-like streak to Twitter.

Cygnus launched July 13 and arrived at the ISS three days later, bearing a load of 3,653 pounds (1,657 kilograms) of gear, food and .

The resupply mission was part of a billion dollar contract with NASA for multiple journeys to the ISS.

Explore further: Cygnus cargo craft readies to leave space station

Related Stories

Cygnus cargo craft readies to leave space station

October 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

Scientists solve planetary ring riddle

August 5, 2015

In a breakthrough study, an international team of scientists, including Professor Nikolai Brilliantov from the University of Leicester, has solved an age-old scientific riddle by discovering that planetary rings, such as ...

Image: The ghost of a dying star

August 5, 2015

This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying ...

Will SETI's unprecedented new program finally find E.T.?

August 4, 2015

Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake and dozens of journalists gathered at the Royal Society in London last week to hear astronomers announce a ground-breaking new project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life called "Breakthrough ...

Galaxies show appetite for growth

August 4, 2015

The extent to which galaxies consume one another has been revealed in research. Findings from the study help to explain how galaxies such as the Milky Way were formed.

0 comments

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.