New Space Science and Supplies Arrive at Station Saturday Morning

Pablo Tucker
April 24, 2017

But Commander Whitson, who appears downright giddy regarding her lengthy stay in space, is in no rush to return to Earth; she has signed on to extend her stay orbiting the planet until September 3.

Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston then took over arm operations and pulled the Cygnus in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the station's central Unity module.

Space station commander Peggy Whitson - who on Monday will set a USA record for most accumulated time in orbit - notified Mission Control when S.S. John Glenn was captured.

ISS Commander Peggy Whitson and astronaut Thomas Pesquet sat in the Cupola, where they could see the S.S. John Glenn cargo vessel that had caught up to the ISS. It rocketed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday with almost 7,700 pounds of food, experiments and other goods. It finally arrived at the space station early Saturday morning, where the crew welcomed it with open robotic arms.

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft approaches its 10 meter capture point where the Canadarm2 grapples resupply ship on 22 April 2017. His widow, Annie, granted permission for Orbital ATK to use his name for the Cygnus spacecraft.

It is named the S.S. John Glenn in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, who died in December at age 95.

"We are very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn", Pesquet said.

With the arrival of the Cygnus came the delivery of more than 7,600 lbs. If Whitson returns as scheduled, she'll have lengthened her station visit to 289 consecutive days for this mission, while extending her record-breaking total to 666 career days in space.

International Space Station commander Peggy Whitson early Monday will set the USA record for most accumulated time in orbit. He also served four terms as a U.S. Senator from Ohio.

The S.S. John Glenn will remain with the station until July, when it will be let go to burn up in the atmosphere along with spent equipment and other refuse.

The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday.

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