Orbital Sciences Corp. and NASA held a pre launch science update to discuss the mission's science cargo aboard the SS Deke Slayton spacecraft soon to depart for the International Space Station on Monday, Oct. 27.
Orbital's Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad 0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and will transport almost 5,000 pounds of supplies, including science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware. Expedition 41 crew members Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore of NASA will be ready in the stations cupola to capture the resupply craft with the station's robotic arm and install it on the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module.
Continuing the tradition of naming its spacecraft after astronauts who have made significant contributions to spaceflight, Orbital dubbed this Cygnus resupply ship the SS Deke Slayton. The name is a tribute to original Mercury 7 astronaut Donald Deke K. Slayton, who flew on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in 1975 and championed commercial space endeavors after retiring from NASA in 1982. Slayton passed away in 1993.