Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft arrives at the space station – despite a failed solar panel

Cygnus one solar panel

Early this morning, Northrop Grumman’s SS Sally Ride Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station carrying 8,200 pounds of supplies for the seven crewmembers. However, the Cygnus is missing one of its now iconic circular solar panels due to an unknown failure.

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Quick Thoughts: A bad case of the space Mondays

Have you ever woken up on a Monday morning and thought to yourself, “yeah, no, I don’t want to do anything,” and then you attempt to get up, and the day doesn’t stop punching? That was today for the space industry. We work up to a new report of Subtropical Storm Nicole making landfall on Florida’s Space Coast (just in time for Artemis 1 to be rolled out to the pad), Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft only having one solar panel deployed, and an absolutely terrible weather forecast for SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 launch.

I guess here’s the deal, Mondays suck not just for the average person but even for the most talented and intelligent people we know. I just got back from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch on Saturday, and I hopefully plan to drive back down from Wisconsin for Artemis 1 and an airshow this Thursday, both of which could be canceled, so I guess the joke is on me?

Space Explored Podcast 43: Starship static fires are back, Artemis I nears, and more

This week Seth and Jared discuss the Artemis I mission as it nears closer and closer to launching. The two also talk about other current events in the space industry and look at the newest images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.


Northrop Grumman partners with Firefly to upgrade Antares and develop future rocket together

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, we have been following how it will affect Northrop Grumman’s capability to launch its Antares rocket. Northrop Grumman has finally announced its solution to unavailable components in a partnership with Firefly Aerospace to supply engines and a new first stage to the Antares 330 rocket.

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Satellite-servicing robots built by Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics to begin mission in 2024

Northrop Grumman announced on February 21 that its subsidiary, SpaceLogistics, received the company’s first purchase of the Mission Extension Pod by Australian satellite operator Optus.

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Cygnus spacecraft installed on ISS following successful Antares launch from Virginia

On Saturday, February 19, Northrop Grumman launched an Antares 230+ rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The rocket carried a Cygnus spacecraft, S.S. Piers Sellers, which has since joined up with the International Space Station.

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[U: Launched]Launch Spotlight: Northrop Grumman to launch a Cygnus resupply vehicle to the ISS

A Northrop Grumman Antares 230+ is set to launch a Cygnus resupply vehicle to the International Space Station on February 19, 2022, at 12:40 p.m. EST. This Cygnus vehicle is named after former astronaut Piers Sellers.

NASA funding Sierra Space/Blue Origin, Nanoracks, and Northrop Grumman to design future space stations

On Thursday, NASA announced the selected contractors to develop designs for the future commercial space stations to replace the International Space Station.

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SpaceX, Blue Origin, Dynetics, and more selected again for further lunar lander concepts

NASA announced contract awards to five companies for further development of lunar lander concepts for its Artemis Program on Tuesday.

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[Update: Launched] Live Blog: Northrop Grumman to launch its 16th Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS for NASA

Today Northrop Grumman plans to launch their 16th Cygnus spacecraft from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) for NASA. Today’s mission will see an Antares rocket launch the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station. It will deliver over 3,000 pounds of food, experiments, and other supplies to the station for its crew to use. The spacecraft will also conduct experiments on its way to and after departing the space station.

Date: Tuesday, August 10th at 6:01 p.m. EDT

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Northrop Grumman and NASA finalize contract for Artemis Gateway module

It has been known for a while that Northrop Grumman will be the company tasked with building one of the most important modules on NASA’s Gateway station. It took a while, but now the company has finalized the firm, fixed-priced contract worth $935 million.

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Rare launch of Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket happens over the weekend

Pegasus XL is an air-launched rocket capable of launching ~443kg to Low Earth Orbit. Northrop Grumman conducted a launch of this vehicle over the weekend on a mission for the Space Force. The satellite was named Odyssey and was designed to be a “Space Domain Awareness” Technology Demonstration.

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Northrop Grumman honors Black History Month with first Cygnus mission of 2021

Cygnus continues a tradition in naming their spacecraft after people that have made great contributions to the spaceflight industry either as engineers or astronauts. With the upcoming launch slated to take place February 20th, Northrop Grumman named its next mission after the great mathematician Katherine Johnson.

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NASA releases S.S. Kalpana Chawla Cygnus vehicle from ISS before upcoming fire test

Back in early October, Northrup Grumman launched a Cygnus spacecraft named after NASA Astronaut Kalpana Chawla on top of an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia. It carried over 8,000 pounds of supplies to the station and was released today by ground teams.

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NASA awards contract to Northrup Grumman for modified arial drone

Over the next five years, Northrop Grumman will get $70 million dollars to support NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in the Skyrange Program.

Northrop Grumman awarded more flights in CRS-2 contract

Since 2012 SpaceX and Northrop Grumman (then Orbital ATK) have been providing supplies to the International Space Station. The first CRS contract brought us rockets like the Antares and Falcon 9 and without this funding, neither would exist. Today NASA continues that venture to build up the private space sector with the CRS-2 contract.

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Northrop Grumman sending four tons of research and supplies to ISS with NG-14 night launch

October 1, 2020: Scrubbed two minutes before liftoff due to off nominal data. Next attempt as soon as 24 hours later.

Following Delta IV Heavy and Falcon 9 launch scrubs, a third rocket is scheduled for liftoff from the East Coast of the United States this week. Northrop Grumman will launch its Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft from Wallops Island in Virginia between 9:38 and 9:43 p.m. ET tonight.

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Space Force selects ULA and SpaceX for phase 2 launch service contracts

In a widely anticipated announcement, U.S. Space Force and Air Force officials awarded Phase II of U.S. national security missions launch contracts to ULA and SpaceX as the primary launch providers through 2027. The NSSL (National Security Space Launch) Contract is a firm-fixed-price that will support launches planned from fiscal 2022 – fiscal 2027.

These contracts include early integration studies, launch service support, fleet surveillance, launch vehicle production, mission integration, mission launch operations, mission assurance, spaceflight worthiness, and mission unique activities for each mission.

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Watch: First Minotaur IV rocket launch from Virginia Space Coast for Space Force

Northrop Grumman’s 78-foot-tall Minotaur IV expendable launch system is lifting off from NASA’s Wallops Island flight facility in Virginia. The launch is the first Minotaur IV launch from Virginia’s Space Coast and the first National Reconnaissance Office launch using the Minotaur IV system.

Today’s Minotaur IV launch is also the first use of the expendable launch system since August 2017. The system has been used for a total of seven launches since April 2010, and one to two additional launches are already planned. NASA says the next launch from Wallops Flight Facility will be sometime in mid-August.

Minotaur rockets are created using decommissioned MX Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles created in the late 80s and early 90s.

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NASA paves way for nine Artemis missions using Space Launch System starting in 2021

NASA is preparing to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program. The program currently includes three Artemis missions including two uncrewed lunar flight tests and one mission to send astronauts to the Moon. Today NASA shared an Artemis program update supporting up to six additional missions under the program.

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NASA finalizes contract to design habitation and logistics outpost for lunar orbiting Gateway

NASA signed a contract this month with the company that will design its Gateway housing module. The lunar orbiting outpost is intended to be used in NASA’s Artemis program. The Orbital Science Corporation, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Space, was awarded a $187 million contract to work on the project. 

The Gateway is an advanced lunar outpost that will be essential to the Artemis program in the future. The program aims to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024. NASA’s agreement with Orbital Science Corporation foresees that the Gateway’s preliminary design will be presented and revised by the end of this year.

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Meet MEV: The first life extension satellite that just made history

MEV is the Mission Extension Vehicle used by SpaceLogistics, a Northrop Grumman subsidiary, to service satellites in space.

The life extension satellite made history yesterday when it successfully docked to another commercial satellite:

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