Replace for five p.m. ET: Liftoff has been delayed by 5 minutes and is now scheduled for six:01 p.m. EDT (2201 GMT), as engineers needed to “resolve a minor floor help subject,” Northrop Grumman tweeted.
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — NASA and Northrop Grumman say that the whole lot is wanting good for the launch of a Cygnus cargo capsule later immediately (Aug. 10). The spacecraft is chock-full of analysis and provides for the Expedition 65 crew on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS).
The flight will blast off from Pad 09A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia throughout a deliberate five-minute window that opens at 5:56 p.m. EDT (2156 GMT). Climate officers say that tonight’s forecast reveals circumstances are actually 90% “GO” for launch, with the one concern being potential cumulus clouds, according to NASA.
A two-stage Antares rocket, standing 139 ft (42.5 meters) tall, will haul the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit, kicking off a two-day voyage to the ISS. As soon as it arrives on the area station, Cygnus will berth to the orbital outpost with the assistance of the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.
NASA astronaut and Expedition 65 crewmember, Megan McArthur, will use Canadarm2 to grapple the Cygnus, with an help from her fellow crewmember Thomas Pesquet of the European Area Company. They’re scheduled to seize the incoming freighter on Thursday (Aug. 12) at 6:10 a.m. EDT (1010 GMT). Mission Management in Houston will then oversee the spacecraft’s set up on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port.
Cygnus will stay hooked up to the station for roughly three months earlier than it should conduct a damaging reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Each the Cygnus spacecraft and the Antares rocket had been constructed by Northrop Grumman, which is one in every of two corporations which can be at the moment delivering cargo to the ISS for NASA (SpaceX is the opposite). The duo rolled out to the launch pad on Aug. 5 forward of Tuesday’s deliberate launch.
The mission, designated NG-16, is the 15th operational resupply launch for the area station by Northrop Grumman (and its predecessors, Orbital Sciences and Orbital ATK) as a part of its business resupply providers contract with NASA.
With this flight, Northrop Grumman is constant its custom of naming the Cygnus spacecraft after a person who made key contributions to human spaceflight. On this case, the silvery spacecraft is known as the S.S. Ellison Onizuka after the primary Asian American astronaut, who misplaced his life on board the area shuttle Challenger in 1986.
Cargo ships carry important provides and meals for the astronauts on the area station, but additionally a great deal of analysis investigations. On this mission, Cygnus will ship roughly eight,200 lbs. (three,700 kilograms) of science experiments, provides, and for the area station’s Expedition 65 crew.
Tucked contained in the cargo car will probably be a variety of analysis investigations, together with a research that may have a look at whether or not or not engineered muscle tissue is an efficient testbed for drug therapies, a brand new carbon dioxide scrubber for the station, in addition to for extra photo voltaic panels.
Cygnus additionally has a secondary payload on board that may assist engineers design higher monitoring techniques for future spacecraft. The prototype infrared payload (or PIRPL) will run for about three months, amassing infrared knowledge to develop algorithms that future sensors will use to establish hypersonic missiles in low orbits.
“It is going to even be used to check environmental impacts from catastrophic occasions similar to forest fires and volcanic eruptions,” Frank DeMauro, vp and normal supervisor of Northrop Grumman’s Tactical Area Programs division mentioned throughout a information convention Monday (Aug. 9).
Usually cargo vessels stay hooked up to the station for a couple of months, to permit the crew time to refill them both with cargo to ship again to Earth or, as is the case with Cygnus, with trash to fritter away when the spacecraft re-enters the ambiance. The spacecraft poses no risk to Earth.
Editor’s word: This text was up to date at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) with up to date climate forecast info. Beforehand the climate forecast was 80% favorable for launch; it has since elevated to 90%.
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