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Home / Science / Antares launch from Virginia delayed to Friday – Spaceflight Now

Antares launch from Virginia delayed to Friday – Spaceflight Now



NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia airs at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky

A forecast of low-ceilinged, thick-clouded and weather-beaten clouds NASA and Northrop Grumman officials at the Antares Rocket and Supply Station ship from Virginia's Eastern Shore to Friday morning.

Launchers at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility decided Thursday morning, and instead aim for liftoff of the Antares rocket Friday at 4:23:55 am EST (0923: 55 GMT) carrying a Cygnus cargo carrier towards the International Space Station.

The predawn launch Friday is timed for the space station's orbital plane – or ground track – is over the launch base in Virginia.

[More than 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.]

Less than nine hours after the Antares arrives in the orbit East Coast, a Russian Soyuz rockets in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:14 p.m. EST (1814 GMT). The Soyuz wants to dispatch and progress resupply and refueling freighter to the space station.

Assuming both cargo mission launch Friday.

The weather team at Wallops briefed managers during a launch readiness review Wednesday and the official weather forecast outlook Thursday, 22 May 2009 The weather conditions should improve somewhat later Thursday, with forecasters predicting a 55 percent chance of low cloud ceilings or ground Winds will prevent liftoff during Friday's five-minute launch window.

The Antares launch team will meet again Thursday morning to decide whether or not to go ahead with a countdown and launch attempt. Another launch opportunity is available.

If the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket lifts off, the unpiloted Cygnus cargo craft is nestled inside the launcher's payload fairing to the space station Sunday around 4:35 am EST (0935 GMT). Astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst wants to use the station's Canadian-built robotic arm to capture the Cygnus, which will be berthed to the Unity module on the orbiting research outpost for a three-month stay.

The Progress MS-10 Zvezda service module at 2:30 pm EST (1930 GMT) Sunday, around 10 hours after the Cygnus arrival.

If both missions reach the station Sunday, it will be nearly 20-year history that two resupply vehicles have made cargo deliveries on

The space station is short-staffed with a three-person crew after a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut aborted their launch Oct. 11 following a S0yuz booster failure. Another three-person crew is launching from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz rocket. 3.

The back-to-back cargo ship arrives Sunday, May 30th, 2008, May 30th, 2010 by Astronaut Alexander Gerst wants to be ready to handle the arrivals, said Joel Montalbano, NASA's deputy space station program manager.

After Auñón-Chancellor captures the Cygnus with the robotic arm – with the help of Gerst – the station commander will assist Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev in monitoring the Progress radar-guided automated approach.

"Alexander Gerst is ready to help out with his Russian colleague for the Progress Vehicle, "Montalbano said Wednesday.

Montalbano said Gerst has received some refresher training with the progress of docking, a job "Normally, it's an automated docking, but they need to be prepared to go ahead and do a remote-controlled docking."

"We're not seeing any issues," Montalbano said of the same-day cargo ship arrivals. "We've worked with the crew.

If the Antares launch slips to Saturday, the Cygnus spacecraft's rendezvous with the space station would be delayed to Monday, a bit more than a half -day after the progress docking.

With only three people on the station – rather than the typical five or six – Montalbano said some research activities have been reprioritized, but have not been significantly impacted.

"As far as on a board, but it's just for a short time, and actually the crew members on board have picked it up, and they've been working hard and picking up the things that have been done, "he said.

The Cygnus supply ship is set to deliver 7,215 pounds ("any science or research that's time-critical, it's being done, and we're reprioritizing other activities, so from that standpoint, we're doing actually very well." 3,273 kilograms) of supplies and experiments to the space station, including a plastic recycler and 3D printer to advance in-space manufacturing capabilities, and experimenting with the human body's ability to perceive motion, orientation and distance changes in microgravity.

The resupply mission will mark the 11th launch of a Cygnus spacecraft carrying cargo to the International Space Station, including a test flight in 2013 and a failed Antares launch in 2014.

The mission is designated NG -10, and it is the first Cygnus flight since Northrop Grumman acquired orbital ATK, which developed and flew the previous cargo missions under an 11-launch contract with NASA valued a t Near $ 2.9 billion.

Starting with NG-12, set for launch in late 2019, Northrop Grumman wants to kick off a follow-on commercial resupply services contract, guaranteeing the company's at least six additional flights through 2024.

SpaceX So launches cargo to the space station for NASA, and the space agency has tapped Sierra Nevada Corp. to begin resupplying the research complex in late 2020.

The next SpaceX resupply launch is set for Dec. 4 from Cape Canaveral.

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