Orbital Sciences readying for resupply mission to International Space Station

Orbital Sciences readying for resupply mission to International Space Station

Each mission is expected to take about a month; it takes about five days for the Cygnus to make it to the station, it will stay there for anywhere from two weeks to two months, and it will take another day or two for the spacecraft to disintegrate on reentry. "The idea of now relying on private industry and let[ting] them lead the way has already been decided," said Marco A. Caceres, director of space studies at the Teal Group. "The question is: Can industry do it without too many failures?" He said Orbital's success, along with that of SpaceX, which has already made it to the space station, would provide the needed competition and potentially open the door to more companies. "There's a lot at stake here because you're really talking about the future of human spaceflight. It's not going to be NASA that does it," said Caceres. "It's these companies ... that are supposedly going to be colonizing the moon and maybe even Mars."

Tags Cygnus, International Space Station, NASA, Orbital Sciences Media Outlet: The Washington Post Featured Analyst Marco A. Caceres

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