WALLOPS ISLAND — The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (Virginia Space), National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility, and Northrup Grunman announced the successful launch of a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
On Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 6:01 p.m., a Cygnus spacecraft, named in honor of the first Asian American astronaut, Ellison Onizuka, was launched from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at Wallops Island on a resupply mission to the ISS.
The craft carried approximately 8,200 pounds of cargo that included: crew supplies, hardware, and scientific research. According to a release sent by the office of Gov. Ralph Northam, the research sent is meant to aid in, “long-term space exploration missions, lunar habitats, and safe reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.”
Upon arrival, NASA states that NASA astronaut Megan McArthur will use the the ISS’s robotic Canadarm2 in order to capture the Cygnus spacecraft.
This launch marks Northrup Grunman’s sixteenth cargo flight to the ISS and the fifth under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA. To learn more about Northrup Grunman’s mission, click here.
The craft’s namesake, Col. Ellison Onizuka, was the first Asian American astronaut. After a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, where he served as a test pilot and a flight test engineer, Col. Onizuka was part of the historic astronaut class of 1978, also known as the “Thirty-Five New Guys.” This class represented astronauts from a broader demographic including women, Spanish/Hispanics/Latinos, and Asian Americans.
After graduating, Col. Onizuka flew his first mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985.
On Jan. 28, 1986, he lost his life on the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded just 73 seconds after launch.
“This vital mission honors the legacy of Ellison Onizuka, whose commitment to the space program inspired many young pilots and whose work was integral to the advancement of human spaceflight,” said Gov. Northam in an Aug. 10 release.
To track this mission as well as find more information, see over 18,000 images, listen to podcasts, watch videos on demand and NASA television, and more, download the NASA app on your smart mobile device or tablet.