Jason DavisFeb 19, 2016

In Pictures: Cygnus Takes out the Trash

Early this morning, astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra released a Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station. Cygnus, which arrived in December, spent more than two months on orbit—longer than originally planned, giving the crew more time to fill the spacecraft with trash.

Flight controllers at Orbital ATK in Virginia will send Cygnus into Earth's atmosphere for a controlled reentry Saturday morning. The next ISS resupply flight is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, when a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket sends another Cygnus craft into orbit

Prior to that, one-year cremembers Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, along with cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, will return to Earth on March 1. About two weeks later, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Oleg Skriprochka and Alexey Ovchinin will launch to the station aboard Soyuz TMA-20M, joining the crew of Expedition 47.

Here are some images and video from today's Cygnus departure.

Cygnus OA-4 and Soyuz TMA-19M
Cygnus OA-4 and Soyuz TMA-19M Tim Peake / ESA / NASA
Cygnus OA-4 moved into position for release
Cygnus OA-4 moved into position for release Scott Kelly / NASA
Cygnus OA-4 over Bolivia
Cygnus OA-4 over Bolivia Scott Kelly / NASA
Cygnus OA-4 departure
Cygnus OA-4 departure Tim Peake / ESA / NASA
Into the void
Into the void Cygnus OA-4 slips into darkness after being released from the International Space Station. Scott Kelly / NASA
Empty Canadarm
Empty Canadarm The International Space Station's robotic Canadarm is empty after releasing the OA-4 Cygnus resupply vehicle. Tim Peake / ESA / NASA

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