The experiments will be conducted on board of the ship several hours after undocking from the ISS Unity module. One experiment is aimed at determining how big fires grow outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
NASA specialists will ignite a fire in a module containing a 38-inch by 19-inch (97 cm by 49 cm) cotton-and-fiberglass material sample, and monitor its behavior remotely.
The experiment will begin with igniting the sample. Air flowing through ducts will fan the fire, which is expected to burn for about 20 minutes. Scientists want to find out how microgravity influences the growth of fire, whether the force will limit flames, and how materials burn.
Specialists on Earth will receive data recorded by fire and oxygen sensors installed on the ship and images from onboard cameras. They hope the findings will assist them in developing ways to suppress fire during space missions.
"NASA's objective is to reduce the risk of long-duration exploration missions, and a spacecraft fire is one of the biggest concerns for NASA and the international space exploration community," said Jason Crusan, NASA director of advanced exploration systems, as cited by CBS.
Cygnus will stay in orbit until June 22, before entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up above the Pacific Ocean in a controlled reentry.
Cygnus, produced by the US Orbital ATK company, docked with the ISS late in March. Cargo included drinking water, food supplies, a 3D-printer and equipment to determine the chemical makeup of meteorites reaching Earth atmosphere.
The next Cygnus spaceship is set to depart for the ISS on June 6.