Cygnus CRS Orb-1


Cygnus CRS Orb-1
Cygnus 2 approaches ISS (ISS038-E-028044, modified).jpg
Cygnus arriving at the ISS, on 12 January 2014.
Mission typeISS resupply
OperatorNASA / Orbital Sciences
COSPAR ID2014-003A
SATCAT no.39502
Mission duration41 days, 12 minutes
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftS.S. C. Gordon Fullerton
Spacecraft typeStandard Cygnus [1]
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences
Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass4,923 kg (10,853 lb) [2]
Payload mass1,260 kg (2,780 lb) [3]
Start of mission
Launch date9 January 2014, 18:07:05 UTC [4]
RocketAntares 120
Launch siteMARS, LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences
End of mission
Decay date19 February 2014, 18:20 UTC [5]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [6]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Berthing at International Space Station
Berthing portHarmony nadir
RMS capture12 January 2014, 11:08 UTC
Berthing date12 January 2014, 13:05 UTC
Unberthing date18 February 2014, 10:25 UTC
RMS release18 February 2014, 11:41 UTC
Time berthed36 days, 21 hours, 20 minutes
Mass1260 kg
Orbital Sciences CRS Flight 1 Patch.png
Orbital Sciences Orb-1 mission patch  

Cygnus CRS Orb-1,[7] also known as Orbital-1,[8] was the second flight of the Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo spacecraft, its second flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and the third launch of the company's Antares launch vehicle. The mission launched on 9 January 2014 at 18:07:05 UTC.


Orb-1 was the first of eight contracted flights by Orbital Sciences under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) contract. This was the maiden flight of the Castor 30B second stage. Orbital Sciences continued its naming of Cygnus spacecraft in tribute to former astronauts. This vehicle was named the S.S. C. Gordon Fullerton for C. Gordon Fullerton, the NASA astronaut who died on 21 August 2013.[9] This Cygnus cargo mission launched the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer to the ISS's Kibō module.

Launch and early operations

Antares and Cygnus, 6 January 2014

The launch of Orb-1 was scheduled for November 2013,[10] but a series of delays pushed the date to 20 December 2013.[11] The Antares launch vehicle rolled out from the Wallops Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) on the morning of 17 December 2013, and was later erected at Launch Pad 0A. Later that day, due to the need for a series of spacewalks to fix a faulty coolant system on the International Space Station, NASA directed Orbital Sciences to stand down the Antares rocket. Antares was rolled back to the HIF and time-sensitive cargo removed. The launch date was rescheduled for no earlier than 13 January 2014, but was later moved forward to 7 January 2014 after a scheduling conflict at Wallops was resolved.[12][13] The launch was delayed one day due to cold temperatures at the launch site.[14]

NASA Wallops and Orbital Sciences announced the launch attempt on 8 January 2014 was scrubbed due to "an unusually high level of space radiation that exceeded by a considerable margin the constraints imposed on the mission to ensure the rocket's electronic systems are not impacted by a harsh radiation environment".[14] Orbital later revised this, stating that a more extensive review of the radiation environment found it to be "within acceptable limits" of the Antares program, and that a launch would be attempted on 9 January 2014.[14]

The Orb-1 mission successfully launched on 9 January 2014 at 18:07:05 UTC from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0A. Solar array deployment occurred shortly after arriving in orbit. The Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station early on 12 January 2014.[15][16][17]

The launch was expected to be viewable from South Carolina through Massachusetts and as far west as West Virginia. As with its last couple of launches out of Wallops, Orbital Sciences released viewing information for the Eastern United States, including maps indicating launch vehicle maximum elevation above horizon and time of first sighting after launch for the various viewing locations.[18]

Attempt Planned Result Turnaround Reason Decision point Weather go (%) Notes
1 20 Dec 2013, 12:00:00 pm Delayed Technical 17 Dec 2013, 12:00 pm ISS coolant loop repair spacewalks forced delay.[11]
2 7 Jan 2014, 1:55:00 pm Delayed 18 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes Weather 3 Jan 2014, 12:00 pm Delayed due to extreme cold temperatures.[14]
3 8 Jan 2014, 1:32:00 pm Scrubbed 0 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes Space weather 8 Jan 2014, 8:00 am 95% Scrubbed for concerns about avionics health due to recent solar flux activity.[14]
4 9 Jan 2014, 1:07:05 pm Success 0 days, 23 hours, 35 minutes Successful launch.


Cygnus was filled with 1,260 kg (2,780 lb) of supplies for the ISS, including science experiments and hardware to expand the research capability of the station, crew provisions and spare parts.[3] This included 12 experiments flying as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), selected from 1,466 entrants and involving 7,200 North American students.[19] Types of cargo include:

  • Crew supplies: 424 kg (935 lb)
  • Hardware: 333 kg (734 lb)
  • Science and research: 434 kg (957 lb)
  • Computer supplies: 48 kg (106 lb)
  • Spacewalk tools: 22 kg (49 lb)

Some of the major experiments focus on:[3]

Cygnus also contained 33 cubesat, making the total number of spacecraft aboard the Antares up to 34, including the Cygnus itself. [1]

End of mission

Canadarm2 unberthed the Cygnus spacecraft from the nadir port of the Harmony module on 18 February 2014 at 10:25 UTC. The spacecraft was then maneuvered to a position below the station, where it was released from the Canadarm2 at 11:41 UTC. It then performed a series of separation maneuvers to move it away from the station. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere and burned up on 19 February 2014 over the southern Pacific Ocean, disposing of approximately 1,470 kg (3,240 lb) of trash.[5]


See also


  1. ^ Bergin, Chris (22 February 2012). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Orbital 1 Cargo By-The-Numbers". NASA. 17 December 2013. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Cygnus - Orb-1 Mission Update". Spaceflight101. 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (18 February 2014). "Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  6. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  7. ^ Rao, Joe (16 December 2013). "Private Rocket Launch Thursday Night Visible from US East Coast". Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  8. ^ Kremer, Ken (17 December 2013). "How to See Spectacular Prime Time Night Launch of Antares Commercial Rocket to ISS on December 19". Universe Today. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  9. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z. (9 December 2013). "Orbital names next space station freighter for late pilot-astronaut". CollectSpace. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 10 September 2013. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Orb-1 Mission Update". 20 December 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013.
  13. ^ "NASA Postpones Orbital Launch, Sets Spacewalks to Repair Faulty Pump Module". NASA. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Mission Update". Orbital Sciences. 8 January 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Cygnus Heads to Space for First Station Resupply Mission". NASA. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  16. ^ "Cygnus solar arrays are now deployed". Orbital Sciences. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  17. ^ Harwood, William (12 January 2014). "Cygnus cargo ship successfully attached to space station". CBS News. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  18. ^ "ISS Commercial Resupply Services Mission (Orb-1) Launch Viewing Maps". Orbital Sciences. 2013.
  19. ^ "Selected Experiments on SSEP Mission 3 to ISS". National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.

External links

  • CRS Orb-1 mission page at
  • CRS Orb-1 mission page at Spaceflight Now