NASA and Northrop Grumman are targeting 5:56 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Aug. 10, for the companys 16th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Live coverage of the launch from NASAs Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, will air on NASA Television, theNASA app, and the agencyswebsite beginning at 5:30 p.m. NASA also will hold a prelaunch news briefing Monday, Aug. 9.
Loaded with more than 8,200 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, Northrop Grummans Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the companys Antares rocket from Virginia Spaces Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
The Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS Ellison Onizuka in honor of the first Asian American astronaut, will arrive at the space station Thursday, Aug. 12. At about 6:10 a.m., Expedition 65 NASA astronaut Megan McArthur will capture Cygnus with the stations robotic arm, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will support her. After Cygnus capture, mission control in Houston will send ground commands for the stations arm to rotate and install the cargo spacecraft on the Earth-facing port of the stations Unity module.
Cargo resupply from U.S. companies ensures a national capability to deliver critical science research to the space station, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new investigations at this laboratory in space.Each resupply mission to the station delivers scientific investigations in the areas of biology and biotechnology, Earth and space science, physical sciences, and technology development and demonstrations. This Cygnus carries experiments that demonstrate 3D printing with dust, use engineered tissue to study muscle loss, and analyze growth of slime mold.
Cygnus also will carry a new mounting bracket that astronauts will attach to the port side of the stations backbone truss during a spacewalk planned for late August. The mounting bracket will enable the installation of one of the next pair of new solar arrays at a later date.
Complete coverage of launch activities is as follows:
Monday, August 9
1 p.m. Prelaunch News Conference
- Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program
- Kirt Costello, chief scientist, International Space Station Program
- Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, Tactical Space Systems, Northrop Grumman
- Kurt Eberly, director, Space Launch Programs, Launch and Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman
- Brittany McKinley, Wallops Range Antares Project Manager