Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch theÂ Cygnus spacecraft on April 17 to bring supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station as part of itsÂ 11thÂ and final cargo resupply mission under the Commercial Resupply Services-1 contract with NASA.
The spacecraft will take off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., aboard Northrop'sÂ Antares rocket, the agencyÂ said Wednesday.Â
Cygnus is equipped with a new load system designed to allow personnel to include time-sensitive experiments into the spacecraft just 24 hours before the liftoff.
Previous launches required all cargo to be loaded at least four days before the mission.
The upcoming mission will deliver scientific investigations that includeÂ Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-10,Â Space Environment Causes Acceleration of Vascular Aging: Roles of Hypogravity, NutritionÂ and Radiation and Bio-Analyzer.
NASA expects a cargo launch under theÂ CRS-2 contract to beginÂ in the fall.Â