Cygnus Spacecraft Launches Canadian TriDAR into Space

Cygnus Spacecraft Launches Canadian TriDAR into Space

An unmanned, private spaceship will head to the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow and on its way will test a new Canadian technology that will be quite critical for future missions.

Cygnus cargo spacecraft of the Orbital Sciences Corp is scheduled to launch from the Wallops Flight Facility of NASA in Virginia on Saturday at 1:14 p. m. ET. It is expected to arrive at the space station on Tuesday morning carrying 1,360 kilograms of spare parts, science experiments, food and other supplies.

As it approaches the space station, it will test a system which was built by Neptec Design Group Ltd. designed to guide it to dock at the space station.

It will be the primary guidance system for the later flights of Cygnus. Two of the systems have been installed on the next spacecraft already.

"It will be the guidance system, the eyes that will drive the thrusters, telling them where to go", said Mike Kearns who is the president of space systems for Neptec.

The Cygnus spacecraft will carry a single Neptec TriDAR on the mission which is automated rendezvous and docking sensor and mainly for testing. It will be a backup to another guidance system.

The TriDAR works in a way that is like a radar or sonar but rather than bouncing radio or sound waves off the objects to detect their shape and location, it bounces lasers. Then it compares the object that it detected with a computer model of the space station in its memory in order to direct the spacecraft to orient itself.

Each TriDAR unit undergoes rigorous testing including thermal testing at extremely hot and cold temperatures before it is installed on the Cygnus spacecraft.


User login



You May Have Missed...

CDC expresses concern over low vaccine rates among Americans
Fri, 09/19/2014 - 02:31

CDC report issued during a conference on Thursday revealed that the vaccine coverage in the United States is still low despite the campaign run by...


Nigeria Update

World Malaria Day Draws Attention over Need for Renewed Commitment
Sat, 04/26/2014 - 12:48

The world commemorated the Annual Malaria Day on April 25 and the attention was drawn towards...


Economy Watch

Draghi says Inflation Expectations Deteriorated across Euro Area
Sat, 08/23/2014 - 13:36

According to Mario Draghi, inflation expectations have gone down across the euro area. Draghi...


Health Tonight

Prescription Painkiller Deaths Continue to Rise
Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:30

A new report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown...


Science Tonight

Construction Work begins on 325m Tower in Amazon Basin to Monitor Climate Change
Tue, 09/16/2014 - 13:37

Construction work has started on a 325m observation tower in the Amazon basin to help scientists...


UK News

Sleeping Difficulties may be linked to Faster Brain Volume Decline
Thu, 09/04/2014 - 13:20

According to a study published in the journal Sleep, shortened sleep increases the ageing of...


Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca, Roche and Qiagen to Collaborate for Cancer Diagnostic
Mon, 07/28/2014 - 07:13

AstraZeneca has signed up an agreement of collaboration with Roche AG and Qiagen for cancer...


US News

Men with Male Pattern Baldness at Higher Risk of Developing Prostate Cancer
Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:47

Over 40,000 new cases of Prostate cancer are diagnosed every year, thereby making it the most...


Technology Tonight

Google’s New Feature ‘Answers In Suggest’ to answer Questions before User Types
Tue, 09/16/2014 - 15:56

Chrome for Android will allow Google to answer questions of users even before they finish...