The Cygnus spacecraft that was launched from Wallops Island in September completed its mission at the International Space Station on Tuesday.
The Orbital Sciences Corp. commercial craft was released from the space station at 7:31 a.m., according to a NASA news release, and Tuesday afternoon it fired its engines for the last time and re- entered Earth's atmosphere for a "fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean."
Cygnus delivered 1,300 pounds of gear on Sept. 29 as part of a demonstration mission. The spacecraft launched from the Mid- Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Sept. 18.
Orbital Sciences' first official commercial resupply mission is scheduled to launch in December, according to NASA. The Orbital 1 mission will also launch from Wallops Island.
California-based SpaceX is the only other commercial company sending supplies to the space station. It has conducted two demonstration missions and two resupply missions.
- Lauren King, The Pilot