The spacecraft will carry supplies to the International Space Station, and on its return trip to Earth, engineers will remotely ignite the fire.
"Saffire will be the biggest man-made fire ever in space", Gary Ruff, NASA's spacecraft fire safety demonstration project manager, said in the statement.
This will be Orbital ATK's fifth operational mission (OA-6) to the ISS for NASA under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, and the first Cygnus to conduct scientific experiments onboard the spacecraft.
Pending completion of final vehicle testing and acceptable local weather conditions, the launch is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, at 11:05 p.m. (EDT) from space launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The fire is supposed to be a meter in length, and the hope is that watching a fire in microgravity, inside a spaceship, will give NASA useful insights for future missions.
The fire will not be set until the Cygnus departs the space station in May, full of trash for a destructive re-entry. An electrical igniter will be used to light a yard-long cotton-fiberglass sheet inside a box.
North Korea Launches Another Missile Test
The earlier ejection test was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon on January 5. Army Lieutenant General David Mann, commander, U.S.
The first part of Cygnus's mission should hopefully not involve any fire at all: the rocket will rendevous with the ISS, unloading supplies and new experiments.
For the period of over five months, Expedition 47 will look into more than 250 science fields that are all set to improve not only Earth science but other fields as well including technology and physical sciences, marking another addition to the over 1,700 research investigations made on board the ISS. The intention is to make 3-D items as needed for real-time use. It should be ready to go well before the Perseids meteor shower in August.
It will be the second since December, which marked the resumption of the company's missions after an Orbital Antares rocket packed with thousands of pounds of supplies exploded seconds after takeoff in October 2014.
Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand.
Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts.