Spacecraft named after Katherine Johnson set to launch

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(Courtesy: NASA)

ACCOMACK COUNTY, VA (WOWK) — A Cygnus spacecraft, named after West Virginia native Katherin Johnson, will launch from NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 20.

The NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is targeting 12:36 p.m for the launch.

NASA officials say this is the fifteenth resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The Cygnus spacecraft is loaded with 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware. It’s expected to arrive at the space station at approximately 4:40 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 22.

Expedition 64 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi will capture Cygnus, with NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins acting as a backup.

After Cygnus’s capture, Houston’s mission control will send ground commands for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port.

Full coverage of the launch on NASA’s official website.

Northrop Grumman says it named the spacecraft after “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson, who calculated NASA astronaut John Glen’s first trip around the Earth in 1962.

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