Unmanned cargo ship docks with ISS

An unmanned cargo ship successfully berthed with the orbiting International Space Station on Sunday following a week delay due to a technical glitch, NASA said. Astronauts “successfully captured the Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm”. Its website said, “following its capture, the spacecraft is being manoeuvred by Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Karen Nyberg of NASA for installation onto the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module”. The Cygnus capsule, built by the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences, was launched on September 18 on a demonstration mission meant to show it can successfully deliver cargo to the space station. Orbital Sciences has a $1.9-billion contract with NASA that requires the company to deliver freight to the ISS over the course of eight flights by the beginning of 2016. However a software problem delayed the planned approach to the research outpost. — AFP