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Space
Farnborough 2016: Thales Alenia Space to supply nine more Cygnus cargo modules
Farnborough 2016: Thales Alenia Space to supply nine more Cygnus cargo modules
© NASA / J. Kowsky

| Staff writer 241 mots

Farnborough 2016: Thales Alenia Space to supply nine more Cygnus cargo modules

Thales Alenia Space has announced a new contract with Orbital ATK, Inc. to supply nine additional Pressurized Cargo Modules (PCM) to for upcoming cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The cargo module is designed to transport crew supplies and science experiments on Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

Cygnus recently delivered 7,900 pounds of cargo and science experiments to astronauts aboard the station and successfully completed its fifth mission under the contract. Orbital ATK is scheduled to complete 10 CRS-1 missions to the International Space Station before transitioning to launch cargo logistics missions under the CRS-2 contract in 2019.

The Cygnus spacecraft consists of two basic components: the Service Module (SM) built by Orbital ATK and the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) developed by Thales Alenia Space. The Cygnus PCM developed by Thales Alenia Space calls on the company’s experience from previous programmes for the ISS, such as the MPLM (Multipurpose Logistics Module), built by the company on behalf of the Italian space agency for NASA, and the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) Cargo Carrier for the European Space Agency.

The new configuration incorporates a number of upgrades as compared to the standard PCM utilized prior to this mission. These include a lighter and more efficient solution for storing and constraining the cargo inside the module, allowing for an increase in the mass and volume of cargo amount able to be transported to the orbiting laboratory.

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