Private Space Cargo Tug Arrives at Virginia Launch Site

Second Pressurized Cargo Module Arrives at Wallops
Orbital Sciences' second Cygnus spacecraft arrives at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va., on July 18, 2013. Here, technicians open the container holding the Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module. (Image credit: Orbital Sciences)

GLASGOW, Scotland — Thales Alenia Space of Italy has delivered the second of nine pressurized cargo-supply modules for the international space station to customer Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Wallops Island, Va., facility, Thales Alenia Space announced July 18.

The initial unit was delivered to Orbital in 2011. Dulles, Va.-based Orbital is preparing the launch of the unit, which Orbital calls the Cygnus vehicle, in September aboard an Orbital-built Antares rocket under Orbital’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstration agreement with NASA. Orbital must complete the demonstration before its cleared to begin making regular cargo runs under an eight-flight, $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract NASA awarded the company in 2008.

An aircraft carrying Orbital Sciences' second Cygnus spacecraft arrives at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., on July 18, 2013. (Image credit: Orbital Sciences)

Thales Alenia Space said the first four Cygnus modules employ what it calls the standard configuration, which is loaded with up to 2,000 kilograms of cargo for delivery to the space station. The five remaining capsules will use an enhanced configuration that carries up to 2,700 kilograms of cargo.

This story was provided by Space News, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Space Intel Report Editor, Co-founder

Peter B. de Selding is the co-founder and chief editor of, a website dedicated to the latest space industry news and developments that launched in 2017. Prior to founding SpaceIntelReport, Peter spent 26 years as the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews, an industry publication. At SpaceNews, Peter covered the commercial satellite, launch and international space market. He continues that work at SpaceIntelReport. You can follow Peter's latest project on Twitter at @pbdes.