MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to start a spacecraft fire as part of the Saffire-I experiment after the Cygnus cargo spacecraft detaches from the International Space Station (ISS), the agency said in a press release on Wednesday.
The launch of the US automated cargo spacecraft Cygnus on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket took place earlier in the day. The Cygnus is set to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Saturday and stay there for about two months.
"Saffire-I provides a new way to study a large fire on an exploration craft, which has not been possible in the past because the risks for performing such studies on spacecraft with astronauts aboard are too high," the press release reads.
The ISS crew is expected to fill the Cygnus with some 3,000 pounds of trash before the detachment. Once the cargo spacecraft has departed to a safe distance from the station, experts will spark a fire aboard the Cygnus over the Pacific Ocean.