WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – "Cygnus will carry more than 7,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46," the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said on its website.
The launch, scheduled for 5:55 p.m. EST (22:55 GMT) on Thursday, will be carried out from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.
The improvements come after the October 2014 accident, when an Orbital ATK Antares rocker that was to deliver a Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS crashed six seconds after launch. Orbital ATK suspended deliveries to the ISS after the crash.
The ISS program is a joint project among five participating space agencies: the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Russia’s Roscosmos, the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
The current ISS crew (Expedition 45) comprises NASA’s astronauts Commander Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, Russia’s cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Volkov, as well as Japan’s Kimiya Yui.