October 16, 2021

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The Cygnus spacecraft | Space

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The Cygnus spacecraft is an uncrewed cargo ship that brings supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS) and then takes refuse away. It is operated by Northrop Grumman Space Systems, a private American aerospace and defense technology company. The vehicle is named after the Cygnus constellation that is visible in the northern night sky.

Spacecraft design and operation

The Cygnus spacecraft, which was developed by Orbital Sciences Corp. and Thales Alenia Space, consists of a silver pressurized cylinder that’s 17 feet (5 meters) long and powered by two solar panels that stick out like wings from its sides. The original version of Cygnus could carry up to 4,409 lbs. (2,000 kilograms) of material to the ISS, Space.com previously reported, though more recent models have a cargo capacity of up to 7,716 lbs. (3,500 kg). 

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