NASAs commercial partner Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its Antares rocket, carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, at 4:49 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 15. The launch, as well as briefings preceding and following the launch, will air live on NASA Television and the agencys website.
Loaded with 7,500 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, this 10th commercial resupply mission for Northrop Grumman will launch from Virginia Spaces Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASAs Wallops Flight Facility.
About 70 minutes after launch, an automated command will initiate deployment of the spacecrafts solar arrays. Full deployment will take approximately 30 minutes.
The Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS John Young, will arrive at the space station Sunday, Nov. 18. At about 4:35 a.m., Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Serena Aun-Chancellor of NASA will grapple the spacecraft using the stations robotic arm. She will be backed up by Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency), who will monitor Cygnus systems during its approach. After capture, ground controllers will command the robotic arm to rotate and install Cygnus on the bottom of the stations Unity module.
Complete coverage of launch activities is as follows:
Tuesday, Nov. 13:
- 2 p.m. Whats on Board science briefing
- Tara Ruttley, associate chief scientist for Microgravity Research in NASAs Office of the Chief Scientist
- Diane Risdon, In-Space Manufacturing Refabricator project lead at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center
- Liz Warren, associate program scientist for the stations National Lab
- Allison Porter, flight mission manager at Tethers Unlimited
- Michelle Lucas, founder and president of Higher Orbits
- Student researchers with Higher Orbits
Wednesday, Nov. 14:
- 11 a.m. Prelaunch news conference
- Joel Montalbano, International Space Station Program deputy manager at NASAs Johnson Space Center
- Tara Ruttley
- Doug Voss, deputy chief of the Range and Mission Management Office at Wallops
- Frank DeMauro, vice president for Human Space Systems and Logistics at Northrop Grumman
- Kurt Eberly, Antares vice president at Northrop Grumman
Thursday, Nov. 15:
- 4:15 a.m. Launch coverage begins
- 5:45 a.m. Cygnus solar array deployment
- 7 a.m. Postlaunch news conference
- Joel Montalbano
- Frank DeMauro
- Kurt Eberly
Sunday, Nov. 18
- 3 a.m. Grapple of Cygnus with the space stations robotic arm
- 6:15 a.m. Cygnus installation operations