The Cygnus NG-12 from Northrop Grumman which is a cargo spacecraft has departed from International Space Station on 31st of January and this is close to three months after it had arrived at the laboratory with close to 4 tons of the supplies and the science experiments for Expedition 61 crew.
The vessel which is named S.S. Alan Bean has been named after the astronaut of Apollo 12 and has begun its journey to Earth after the ground controllers had used the Houston based station’s robotic arm for releasing it into the orbit. Prior to meeting its demise in the atmosphere of Earth, it is going to spend close to a month while it orbits deploying a lot of the different scientific payloads which it has. On the 29th of February, the ground controllers are going to initiate a maneuver for deorbiting after which cargo ships are going to execute a destructive but safe re-entering into the atmosphere of the Earth as per the NASA officials.
The astronauts said that they would like to bid a huge farewell to the bean and thanked the entire team of making this expedition very successful. They said so during a webcast which was live at the time of the departure of the spacecraft.
This is not the first time the vessel has embarked on a mission after it had left the International space station, the NG-11 had also taken a detour during its mission on the way out in the month of August and that was the first to test the new procedure out. The astronauts who are typically on board were manually operating the robotic arm for releasing these cargo.
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