Engineers will test a new set of hardware instead of letting the NG-11 Cygnus resupply spacecraft crash back to Earth in a blazing flame and be destroyed in the Earth's atmosphere.
In the future, the Cygnus replenishment spacecraft may be used for some scientific research without the need to connect it to the space station. As NASA has revealed, the NG-11 Cygnus replenishment spacecraft will deploy small cubic satellites after leaving the ISS, which is common for resupply missions, but will remain in Earth orbit for several months.
The control moment gyroscope will be tested, which proves that NASA avionics and software can cooperate well with the control moment gyroscope. NASA says space on the International Space Station is very limited, so some long-term experiments that need to be carried out in space can be placed on a Swan replenishment spacecraft, which can function as a free-floating unmanned laboratory. The test is expected to last about six months, when NASA and manufacturers will assess the performance of the CMG and determine the feasibility of using the Swan replenishment spacecraft in this way in the future.