WASHINGTON, January 12, 15:04 /ITAR-TASS/. The docking of a new U.S. space freighter Cygnus with the International Space Station (ISS) began.
The ISS crew is to catch the Cygnus with a 17-metre robotic arm and then the spaceship will be brought to a docking compartment on the U.S. module Harmony.
The rocket Antares has launched the Cygnus to the ISS on January 9 from a NASA spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, U.S. Atlantic Coast. At first the rocket launch was scheduled at December 19, 2013, but it was delayed over a malfunction in the cooling system on the U.S. segment of the ISS that made the astronauts going on a spacewalk to eliminate this break. When the malfunction was eliminated, the launch was slated on January 7, but it was delayed at the last moment due to a strong solar storm in the Earth’s magnetic field that threatened the electric equipment of the rocket with breakdowns.
The freight spaceship Cygnus, which like the booster, was created by private U.S. company Orbital Sciences, is delivering more than 1.3 tonnes of different cargoes, including food, water, spare parts, equipment and material for scientific experiments to the crewmembers of the 38th ISS expedition.