Live Coverage of Today’s Antares Launch Now Airing

Live coverage has begun for Northrop Grumman’s 17th resupply mission to the International Space Station. NASA and its commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman are targeting 12:40 p.m. EST for the launch of the company’s Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Live launch coverage also airs on NASA Television, as well as TwitterFacebook, and NASA’s App.

golden sky backdrop with white Antares rocket in center of frame, along with water tower and lightning suppression towers
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket illuminated by the rising Sun. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black

Loaded with more than 8,300 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the company’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

Highlights of space station research facilitated by this mission include:

  • study that examines the effects of a drug on breast and prostate cancer cells;
  • a new combustion facility
  • an investigation from Colgate-Palmolive that will leverage the acceleration of skin aging in microgravity to help create and validate an engineered tissue model to serve as a platform for testing potential products to protect aging skin
  • a demonstration of a lithium-ion secondary battery capable of safe, stable operation under extreme temperatures and in a vacuum environment
  • new hydrogen sensors that will be tested for the space station’s oxygen generation system
  • a system that will test hydroponic and aeroponic techniques for plant growth and will allow scientists to observe root growth through video and still images
a cube-like, small satellite, held by gloved hands
NACHOS CubeSat. Credits: Los Alamos National Laboratory

In addition, the Cygnus carries a small satellite called NACHOS: Weighing just 13 pounds, this prototype instrument could make it easier to monitor volcanic activity and air quality.