Cygnus Payloads Get Power Units from Andrews Space

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Andrews Space, a Tukwila, Wash.-based manufacturer of spacecraft components and small satellites, delivered four power supply units that will provide electricity for payloads carried by the Cygnus spacecraft Orbital Sciences Corp. plans to use for its first contracted cargo run to the international space station (ISS). 

Known as Cargo Module Power Units, each of the Andrews Space parts can “provide up to 150 Watts of [28-volt direct current] payload power to mid-deck locker payloads destined for the International Space Station aboard the Cygnus cargo vehicle,” the company wrote in a press release. “These units will be used on Orbital’s first operational cargo resupply mission scheduled for later this year.”

The first Cygnus ever to fly in space is now berthed to ISS’ Harmony module as part of a demonstration delivery mission that, if completed successfully, will clear the way for Orbital to begin routine flights under the $1.9 billion, eight-flight delivery-and-disposal contract it signed with NASA in 2008. Cygnus launches aboard Orbital’s medium-lift Antares rocket from a state-owned launchpad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Orbital’s first contracted cargo run is tentatively scheduled for late December. The demonstration mission launched Sept. 18 and is scheduled to conclude in mid- to late-October.