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Canadarm2 gears up to catch Cygnus ship on a resupply run to International Space Station

Credit: NASA

On , Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo ship will launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, headed for the International Space Station (ISS).

Three days later, NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir will use Canadarm2, the Station's 17-metre-long robotic arm, to capture the visiting vehicle by carefully aligning the arm's "hand" with a grappling target on Cygnus's exterior. Following the cosmic catch, robotics controllers will berth the ship to the Station. It is expected to remain at the ISS for about three months.

Cygnus's arrival closely follows the notable departure of its fellow Cygnus on . That mission marked the first time that the ground team working jointly from Canadian Space Agency headquarters and NASA in Houston, was solely responsible for releasing this type of unpiloted vehicle from the orbiting laboratory.

Coverage of the launch will be broadcast on NASA TV on , beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Capture operations will also be broadcast on , beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET (capture scheduled to take place around 4:05 a.m. ET).

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