Cygnus CRS Orb-5

Cygnus CRS Orb-5

Cygnus CRS Orb-5
Mission type ISS resupply
Operator NASA
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Enhanced Cygnus[1][2]
Manufacturer Orbital ATK
Thales Alenia Space
Start of mission
Launch date 31 May 2016[3]
Rocket Antares 230[3][4]
Launch site MARS LP-0A
Contractor Orbital ATK
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Epoch Planned
Berthing at ISS
Berthing port Unity nadir[4]
← Cygnus CRS Orb-6 Cygnus CRS Orb-7

Cygnus CRS Orb-5, also known as Orbital Sciences CRS Flight 5, is the seventh planned flight of the Orbital Sciences' unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its sixth flight to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.[5][6] Orbital and NASA jointly developed a new space transportation system to provide commercial cargo resupply services to the International Space Station (ISS). Under the Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program, Orbital designed and built Antares™, a medium-class launch vehicle; Cygnus™, an advanced maneuvering spacecraft, and a Pressurized Cargo Module which is provided by Orbital's industrial partner Thales Alenia Space.[7]


The COTS demonstration mission was successfully conducted in September 2013, and Orbital commenced operational ISS cargo missions under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) program with two missions in 2014. Regrettably, the third operational mission, Orb CRS-3, resulted was not successful due to spectacular Antares failure during launch. The company decided to discontinue the Antares 100 series and accelerate the introduction of a new propulsion. The Antares system will be upgraded with newly built RD-181 first stage engines to provide greater payload performance and increased reliability.[8]

In the mean time, the company has contracted with United Launch Alliance for an Atlas V launch of Orb CRS-4 in late 2015 from Cape Canaveral, FL, with a second Atlas V Cygnus launch in 2016.[8][9] The company has planned Cygnus missions for the first (Orb CRS-6), second (Orb CRS-5) and fourth quarters (Orb CRS-7) of 2016. CRS-5 and CRS-7 will fly on the new Antares 230 and CRS-6 will fly on second Atlas V in first quarter of 2016. These three missions will enable OrbitalATK to cover their initial CRS contracted payload obligation.[9] This particular mission is known as Orb-5.

Production and integration of Cygnus spacecraft is performed in Dulles, VA. The Cygnus service module is mated with the pressurized cargo module at the launch site, and mission operations are conducted from control centers in Dulles and Houston.[7]


This is the sixth of ten flights by Orbital Sciences under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. This will be the second flight of the Enhanced sized Cygnus PCM.[9] The mission is expected to launch no earlier than May 31, 2016.[3][4]


Total weight of cargo: 3,500 kg (7,700 lb)[2]

  • Crew supplies: 0 pounds (0 kg)
    • Crew care packages
    • Crew provisions
    • Food
  • Hardware: 0 pounds (0 kg)
  • Science and research: 0 pounds (0 kg)
    • CubeSat
    • Human Research Program resupply
  • Computer supplies: 0 pounds (0 kg)
  • Spacewalk tools: 0 pounds (0 kg)

Other ORB projects

NASA hasn't confirmed the future 2016 launch dates, but initial ISS planning has an additional Cygnus flight anticipated for 2016. Orb-7 flight on October 4, 2016. The Orb-8 flight (Orb-8E) has tentatively been scheduled for June 9, 2017. The schedules in late 2016 and 2017 are dynamic, due to the first manned commercial flights (SpaceX, Boeing) to ISS.[6][10]


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