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[b]SS Piers Sellers arrives on station[/b]
Northrop Grumman's NG-17 Cygnus spacecraft, the S.S. Piers Sellers, was installed on the Earth facing port of the International Space Station's Unity node at 7:02 a.m. EST (1202 GMT) on Monday (Feb. 21).
Launched on Saturday, the Cygnus was captured by the Canadarm2 at about 4:44 a.m. (0944), with NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Kayla Barron at the robotic arm's controls.
Highlights of space station research facilitated by this mission include: [list][*]a study that examines the effects of a drug on breast and prostate cancer cells
[*]a new combustion facility
[*]an investigation from Colgate-Palmolive that will leverage the acceleration of skin aging in microgravity to help create and validate an engineered tissue model to serve as a platform for testing potential products to protect aging skin
[*]a demonstration of a lithium-ion secondary battery capable of safe, stable operation under extreme temperatures and in a vacuum environment
[*]new hydrogen sensors that will be tested for the space station's oxygen generation system
[*]a system that will test hydroponic and aeroponic techniques for plant growth and will allow scientists to observe root growth through video and still images
[*]a prototype Moon Gallery with 64 works of art.[/list] Findings from these and other investigations aboard the space station will contribute to keeping astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA's Moon and Mars efforts, including lunar missions through the agency's Artemis program.
The S.S. Piers Sellers also delivered critical hardware to be installed during the upcoming ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (IROSA) spacewalks, as well as other components for the successful functioning of astronaut life on the space station, such as a trash deployer and acoustic covers for the waste management system.
This Cygnus mission is the first to feature enhanced capabilities that will allow the spacecraft to perform a reboost, using its engines to adjust the space station's orbit as a standard service for NASA. The agency has one reboost is planned while Cygnus is connected to the orbiting laboratory. A test of the maneuver was performed in 2018 during Cygnus' ninth resupply mission.
The S.S. Piers Sellers will remain at the space station through May. After its release, the Cygnus will deploy several CubeSats and then dispose of several thousand pounds of trash during its destructive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
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