This is the 18th flight of the Orbital ATK's uncrewed resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its 17th flight to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Successful launch of the Cygnus NG-18 resupply cargo spacecraft towards the International Space Station
Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) are a series of flights awarded by NASA for the delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station.The first CRS contracts were signed in 2008 and awarded $1.6 billion to SpaceX for twelve cargo Dragon and $1.9 billion to Orbital Sciences for eight Cygnus flights, covering deliveries to 2016. The Falcon 9 and Antares rockets were also developed under the CRS program to deliver cargo spacecraft to the ISS.
The International Space Station programme is tied together by a complex set of legal, political and financial agreements between the sixteen nations involved in the project, governing ownership of the various components, rights to crewing and utilization, and responsibilities for crew rotation and resupply of the International Space Station. It was conceived in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, during the Space Station Freedom project as it was originally called.
NASA will host a media teleconference to discuss the next science investigations, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware bound for the International Space Station aboard Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft on the company’s 18th commercial resupply mission for NASA.