Yesterday a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft was launched on a mission to resupply the Worldwide Area Station (ISS). The craft, named the SS Katherine Johnson in honor of the groundbreaking NASA mathematician for Black Historical past Month, is now on its option to the station carrying 8,000 kilos of provides and scientific gear.
The launch went forward at 12:36 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 20 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Round three hours after liftoff, the craft deployed its photo voltaic arrays which can acquire energy from the solar to energy its journey to the house station. This journey will take till early Monday morning, when a member of the ISS crew — JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi — will seize the craft and set up it onto the station’s Unity module.
That is the fifteenth resupply mission by Northrop Grumman, and it carries plenty of scientific experiments in addition to provides for the crew.
The corporate names its Cygnus spacecraft after pivotal figures in human spaceflight, and it selected to honor the contributions of Katherine Johnson with this launch. Her work as a “pc,” performing advanced calculations by hand, was pivotal within the success of the early Apollo missions. She labored at NASA for over 30 years, and she or he handed away final yr on the age of 101.
Johnson’s persevering with affect was acknowledged by NASA flight director Adi Boulos. “I’m humbled to be the Worldwide Area Station Flight Director for the Northrup Grumman CRS-15 mission,” Boulos stated in an announcement. “This spacecraft has the distinction of being named the S.S. Katherine Johnson. As a Black girl, Katherine Johnson shattered race and gender obstacles to dwell out her desires and turn out to be a pivotal a part of this nation’s younger house program. Fifty-nine years in the past right now, astronaut John Glenn turned the primary American to orbit Earth after personally asking for Katherine Johnson to confirm his Mercury missions’ orbital trajectory calculations. Katherine Johnson was an asset to our house program, and I’m honored to work for a mission that expands her legacy even additional.”