Cygnus Has Left the Station in Preparation for Fiery Plunge of Doom
As of 7:31AM (EDT), the Cygnus Cargo Carrier was released from the International Space Station, completing the almost all aspects of its mission. Tomorrow at about 2PM (EDT) it will perform a de-orbit burn and crash into the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the eastern coast of New Zealand, do doubt far, far away from any inhabited islands. Thus will end it's five week mission. Prior to leaving the station, the Cygnus was stuffed with trash for atmospheric/oceanic disposal. Assuming any parts of Cygnus survive re-entry, they will join the countless bits of Russian Progress, Japanese H2A, ESA ATV, Shuttle fuel tanks, and Mir Space Station scattered across the bottom of the Southern Pacific Ocean floor.
Now for something completely different. Orbital could safely improve their website quite a bit. They have created it in such a way that the right mouse click button is disabled on their page. Also their updates are brief and a bit uninspired. They have failed to understand that space enthusiasts and bloggers might be interested in referencing their material. I don't know what lawyers convinced them to "secure" their web-site content, so as not to allow viewers to save images directly off their page. Terribly annoying and almost no-one else does this. Of course, with a little work, such annoyances can be circumvented ( ex1, ex2, ex3 & ex4 ) but WHY must it be necessary??
Seriously Orbital, you have an audience. Some of them even vote. Don't be so insensitive. Oh and by the way. All Orbital Images are Courtesy of Orbital Sciences Corporation.