Orbital Sciences made September 29, 2013 a landmark day in the history of commercial space flight with the successful berthing of its Cygnus cargo ship with the International Space Station, making it the second American space commercial company, after SpaceX, to accomplish this feat.
Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo ship successfully berthed with the International Space Station after a delay of a week due to a failure in the GPS tracking software in the spacecraft. The week’s delay allowed engineers to upload new software and test it before making the second attempt.
By performing a series of practice maneuvers before closing in on the ISS to be captured by a remote manipulator arm and then berthed with the orbiting outpost, the Cygnus became the second commercial space craft to successfully deliver cargo into space. It will now join the SpaceX Dragon as a workhorse resupply ship and is scheduled for eight missions through 2015.