The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft docked at the ISS at about 6:51 a.m. EDT (1051 GMT), with the help of Canadarm2 robotic arm operated by U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra, NASA said.

US spaceship
US spaceship

The spacecraft will be installed to the orbiting lab’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module.

More than 3,500 kilograms of cargo were shipped to the ISS, including an upgraded 3D printer to replace an old one sent up in 2014.

The device, about twice the size of its predecessor, will help the space station produce new tools and experiments, NASA said.

Also on board was Saffire-I, a box designed to contain fire-related experiments.

“Such studies have not been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on spacecraft with astronauts aboard are too high,” NASA said in a statement.

The U.S. space agency has planned three fire-related experiments, all of which will be conducted inside the Cygnus as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere after completing its mission in two months.

The Cygnus is operated by Orbital ATK, which has conducted four previous missions to the ISS under a contract with NASA.

Related:

Private U.S. cargo ship heads for space station with 3D printer

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Xinhua) — A private U.S. cargo ship carrying a 3D printer, nanosatellites and an experiment to study fire in space blasted off on Tuesday night on an orbital delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA, the U.S. space agency’s TV broadcast showed.

The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft, operated by NASA commercial provider Orbital ATK, lifted off on an Atlas V rocket at 11:05 p.m. EDT (0305 GMT Wednesday) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the southern U.S. state of Florida. Full story

U.S. Cygnus cargo spaceship completes return-to-flight ISS mission

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Cygnus cargo spacecraft was released back to earth on Friday morning, following a highly successful mission that delivered about 3,500 kg of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA supplier Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the ISS on Dec. 9, 2015 with food, clothes and other goods. U.S. astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra aboard the ISS then filled the spacecraft with trash and released it at 7:26 a.m. EST (1226 GMT) for cremation. Full story

Orbital ATK resumes U.S. cargo missions to ISS months after rocket explosions

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — A private U.S. cargo spaceship was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday afternoon, months after two U.S. commercial shipments were destroyed in launch explosions.

A live broadcast by NASA TV showed Orbital ATK’s Cygnus blasted off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket as planned at 4:44 p.m. EST (2144 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Source: Xinhua

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