Cygnus capsule left the ISS on February 8, 2019
On February 8, two astronauts aboard the International Space Station sent a cargo capsule with 2500 kg of garbage. Cygnus capsule should burn in the atmospheric layer of the Earth at the end of this month.
But the task list does not end there. The spacecraft must also deploy a group of small satellites (Cubesat). Northrop Grumman launched the Cygnus capsule on November 17 from Wallops Island, Virginia, which delivered 3,400 kg of materials and scientific equipment to the space station. Two days later, the ship arrived at the laboratory, where the process of docking was followed by Serina Aunon-Chancellor. The descent procedure was followed by astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques. Now the capsule is at a safe distance from the ISS, and engineers will begin to gradually withdraw it from orbit to deploy payloads. We are talking about small satellites, created by students and commercial customers. There is also a satellite that will release a set of 100 mini-satellites weighing less than 100 grams.
The mission of the capsule will end with a controlled re-entry into the atmosphere on February 25. Cygnus should burn along with the trash being transported. The next scheduled launch for the ISS is being prepared by SpaceX with the Crew Dragon test capsule, which starts on March 2.