|Mission type||ISS logistics|
|Mission duration||131 days, 7 hours, 53 minutes|
|Spacecraft||S.S. Katherine Johnson|
|Spacecraft type||Enhanced Cygnus|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||20 February 2021, at 17:36:50 UTC|
|Launch site||Wallops Pad 0A|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||2 July 2021, at 01:30 UTC|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Berthing at the International Space Station|
|Berthing port||Unity nadir|
|RMS capture||22 February 2021, at 09:38 UTC |
|Berthing date||22 February 2021, 12:16 UTC|
|Unberthing date||29 June 2021 13:20 UTC|
|RMS release||29 June 2021, at 16:32 UTC |
|Time berthed||127 days|
|Mass||3,810 kg (8,400 lb)|
|Pressurised||3,734 kg (8,232 lb)|
|Unpressurised||76 kg (168 lb)|
NG-15, previously known as OA-15, was the fifteenth launch of the Northrop Grumman robotic resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its fourteenth flight to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The mission launched on 20 February 2021 at 17:36:50 UTC. This is the fourth launch of Cygnus under the CRS-2 contract.
Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) and NASA jointly developed a new space transportation system to provide commercial cargo resupply services to the International Space Station (ISS). Under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, Orbital ATK designed, acquired, built, and assembled these components: Antares, a medium-class launch vehicle; Cygnus, an advanced spacecraft using a Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) provided by industrial partner Thales Alenia Space of Turin, Italy, and a Service Module based on the Orbital GEOStar satellite bus.
NASA held a pre-launch briefing for the Northrop Grumman Cygnus NG-15 cargo launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on 19 February 2021 at 16:00 UTC. Late cargo loading concluded on 19 February 2021. The Cygnus NG-15 spacecraft launched the next day at 17:36:50 UTC on an Antares launch vehicle from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. Cygnus NG-15 is the fourth Cygnus mission under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract. Production and integration of Cygnus spacecraft are performed in Dulles, Virginia. The Cygnus service module is mated with the pressurized cargo module at the launch site, and mission operations are conducted from control centers in Dulles, Virginia and Houston, Texas.
Main article: Cygnus (spacecraft)
This was the tenth flight of the Enhanced-sized Cygnus PCM (Pressurized Cargo Module). On 1 February 2021, the start of Black History Month, Northrop Grumman announced the name of Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician, as the name of the Cygnus spacecraft.
Cygnus spacecraft is loaded with 3,810 kg (8,400 lb) of research, hardware, and crew supplies. This is the heaviest CRS cargo launch for NASA to ISS.
NASA provided the following breakdown of the cargo's hardware for ISS:
The new experiments arriving at the orbiting laboratory on the Cygnus NG-15 mission supports science from human health to high-powered computing, and utilizes the space station as a proving ground for the technologies needed for future missions to the Moon and on to Mars.
ELaNa 33, Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, will deploy the following CubeSats from ISS:
Nanoracks deployer: two CubeSats released via Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer, on 30 June 2021 at 22:50 UTC, including IT-SPINS and MySat-2 (Dhabisat-2), the second CubeSat developed by Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. MySat-2 was developed as part of Khalifa's Space Systems and Technology Concentration, a joint program established in 2015 with UAE-based satellite operator Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) and Northrop Grumman.
GuaraniSat 1: the first satellite of Paraguay. The space agency of Paraguay says the CubeSat was developed in partnership with engineers in Japan and universities and research centers in Paraguay.
ThinSat-2: 42 satellites as part of a STEM outreach program (for grades 4-12 and through the university level) by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority. These was launched from the Antares second stage, with Cygnus.
Once its mission has been completed, Cygnus will perform a safe, destructive reentry into atmosphere of Earth over the Pacific Ocean.