The space cargo vessel Cygnus NG-16 (Ellison Onizuka) was “unberthed” from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module of the International Space Station (ISS) whilst attached to the Canadarm 2 robotic arm on 20 November at approximately 1300 GMT. Cygnus NG-16 was the released from the Canadarm 2 at 1601 GMT. Prior to undocking, the crew had loaded the cargo craft with waste from the ISS. Cygnus NG-16 was captured and docked/berthed with ISS on 12 August while carrying supplies and experimental equipment, including three KREPE re-entry capsules (Kentucky Re-entry Probe Experiments) and the PIRPL satellite which was mounted on the outside of Cygnus NG-16 to collect infrared data to aid the development of future tracking satellites. After Cygnus NG-16 raises its orbit PIRPL will be released to collect further data from different angles before re-entry. The KREPE capsules will be released from NG-16 to demonstrate a thermal protection system for spacecraft and their contents. Cygnus NG-16 is expected to burn-up upon re-entry 15 December.
The Cygnus NG-16 spacecraft was also named SS Elliston Onizuka after the late mission specialist astronaut who was killed in the STS-51L failed Space Shuttle Challenger launch.