Cygnus Orb-2


Cygnus CRS Orb-2 at ISS before grappling.jpg
Canadarm2 approaches the S.S. Janice Voss
Mission typeISS logistics
COSPAR ID2014-039A
SATCAT no.40084
Mission duration34 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftS.S. Janice Voss
Spacecraft typeStandard Cygnus[1]
Launch mass5,644 kg (12,443 lb)
Payload mass1,494 kg (3,294 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date13 July 2014, 16:52:14 UTC[2]
RocketAntares 120[1]
Launch siteWallops Pad 0A
End of mission
Decay date17 August 2014, 13:22 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[3]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Berthing at the International Space Station
Berthing portHarmony nadir
RMS capture16 July 2014, 10:36 UTC
Berthing date16 July 2014, 12:53 UTC
Unberthing date15 August 2014, 09:14 UTC
RMS release15 August 2014, 10:40 UTC
Time berthed29 days, 20 hours, 21 minutes
Orbital Sciences CRS Flight 2 Patch.png
NASA insignia  

Orbital-2,[4][5] also known as Orb-2, was the third flight of the Orbital Sciences' uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus, its third flight to the International Space Station, and the fourth launch of the company's Antares launch vehicle. The mission launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on 13 July 2014 at 16:52:14 UTC.


This was the second of eight scheduled flights by Orbital Sciences under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) contract with NASA. It was the last planned usage of the enhanced Castor 30B second stage for this CRS Orb-x series.

In an Orbital Sciences tradition, the Cygnus spacecraft was named the S.S. Janice Voss after Janice E. Voss, a NASA astronaut and Orbital employee who died on 6 February 2012.[6]

Launch and early operations

The mission was originally scheduled to launch on 1 May 2014[7] but the launch was delayed to 6 May 2014, then to 17 June 2014, then to 1 July 2014, again to 10 July 2014, again to 11 July 2014 due to test stand failure of an AJ-26 engine, to 12 July 2014 due to weather, and finally to 13 July 2014, again due to weather.[8] Orb-2 launched on 13 July 2014 at 16:52:14 UTC with berthing to the ISS following 3 days later on 16 July 2014.[9] The Cygnus Orb-2 delivered 1,650 kg (3,640 lb) of cargo to ISS and disposed of about 1,470 kg (3,240 lb) of trash through destructive reentry.[10]

Mission highlights

  • Flight Day 1 (launch): after a 10-minute flight sequence, Antares launched Cygnus into orbit on the same plane as the International Space Station, but significantly below it. Cygnus then deployed its solar arrays after separation from Antares. After a series of checks, ground controllers commanded Cygnus to begin increasing its altitude.
  • Flight Days 2 and 3: Cygnus continued to increase its altitude to match that of the space station.
  • Flight Day 4: NASA made a go/no-go decision for Cygnus to berth with the station whereupon Cygnus first autonomously approached within 12 m (39 ft) below the space station, where it stopped and held position. Astronauts aboard the station then commanded Cygnus to a "free drift" mode, where they captured it with the station's robotic arm attached to the station's nadir node.
  • Flight Day 5 to Day 36: ISS Astronauts opened Cygnus' hatch, unloaded the payload and filled it with cargo for disposal.
  • Flight Day 36 through Day 41 Cygnus was detached from the station and maneuvered a safe distance away. Engineering tests were conducted for 2 days before a series of engine burns were conducted to slow the spacecraft for reentry over the South Pacific Ocean, where it and the cargo inside were destroyed.[3]


Total weight of cargo: 1,650 kg (3,640 lb)[3][11]

  • Crew supplies: 764 kg (1,684 lb)
    • Crew care packages
    • Crew provisions
    • Food
  • Hardware: 355 kg (783 lb)
    • Crew health care system hardware
    • Environment control and life-support equipment
    • Electrical power system hardware
    • Extravehicular robotics equipment
    • Flight crew equipment
    • PL facility
    • Structural and mechanical equipment
    • Internal thermal control system hardware
  • Science and research: 327 kg (721 lb)
    • CubeSats and deployers
    • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency dynamic surf hardware
    • Human research program resupply
  • Computer supplies: 8.2 kg (18 lb)
    • Command and data handling
    • Photo and TV equipment
  • Spacewalk tools: 39 kg (86 lb)


See also


  1. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (22 February 2012). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Orbital Sciences - Cygnus Orb-2 Mission Overview". Spaceflight101. Archived from the original on 19 July 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2020.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ a b c "Orbital-2 Mission Media Press Kit" (PDF) (Press release). NASA. July 2014. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 3 October 2012. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  5. ^ "International Space Station Flight Schedule". SEDS. 15 May 2013.
  6. ^ Rawcliffe, Britt (11 July 2014). "After delays, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket set to launch". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  8. ^ "ISS Commercial Resupply Services Mission (Orb-2)". Orbital Sciences. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  9. ^ Clark, Stephen (22 May 2014). "Antares rocket engine damaged in test mishap". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  10. ^ Beneski, Barron (1 October 2012). "Orbital Begins Antares Rocket Operations at Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport". Orbital Sciences. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  11. ^ Garner, Rob (11 July 2014). "Orb-2 Science Briefing Highlights". NASA. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2014. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.