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: Orbital cargo ship reaches International 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

Researchers describe one of the darkest planets ever found

April 24, 2018

A team of researchers with Keele University in the U.K. has described one of the darkest planets ever observed. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, the team describes the planet and where it appears to stand ...

Studying dwarf galaxies to get the big picture

April 23, 2018

EPFL scientists have completed the fastidious task of analyzing 27 dwarf galaxies in detail, identifying the conditions under which they were formed and how they've since evolved. These small-scale galaxies are perfect for ...

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.