Antares Rocket Rolls Out to Launch Pad

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, rolled out of the Horizontal Integration Facility to begin the roughly half-mile journey to launch Pad-0A, Thursday, July 10, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch to the International Space Station in scheduled for 1:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 12.

Roll-out began at shortly after 4 a.m., with arrival at the pad about an hour later.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

› NASA’s Orbital website
› More roll-out images on Flickr
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Orbital-2 Launch Moves to July 12

Orbital Sciences Corp. has postponed the launch of its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station until 1:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 12, due to weather conditions that delayed the roll-out of the Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Roll-out of the rocket has been rescheduled for Thursday morning.

NASA Television coverage of Saturday’s launch will begin at 12:30 p.m.

If Cygnus launches on Saturday, rendezvous will still occur on Tuesday, July 15, with grapple scheduled at 7:24 a.m. Rendezvous coverage will begin at 6:15 a.m., followed by berthing coverage at 9:30 a.m.

Cygnus is filled with about 3,300 pounds of supplies for the station, including science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 40 crew, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

› Orbital’s update on the launch date change
› NASA’s Orbital website

Orbital-2 Mission to Space Station to Launch July 11

Orbital Sciences Corp.’s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to launch Friday, July 11 at 1:40 p.m. EDT aboard an Antares rocket on a mission to resupply the International Space Station. The Orbital-2 mission’s liftoff will be from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Roughly half of Orbital-2’s 3,293 pounds of cargo include food and other crew provisions. The spacecraft will also carry hardware and science experiments to the station.

Fairing installed on Antares rocket
The payload’s fairing (essentially its outer shell) is installed on the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket at the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Credit: NASA

Among the research investigations are a flock of small satellites (known as CubeSats) that are designed to take images of Earth, developed by Planet Labs of San Francisco; and a satellite-related investigation called TechEdSat-4 built by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. TechEdSat-4 aims to develop technology that will eventually enable small samples to be returned to Earth from the space station. In addition, a host of student experiments are being flown in association with the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and NanoRacks.

NASA TV will air a comprehensive video feed of launch preparations and other footage related to the mission beginning at 12:30 p.m. on July 11. Launch coverage on NASA TV will begin at 1 p.m.

On Thursday, July 10, media briefings previewing the mission’s science cargo and a prelaunch status from Wallops will be broadcast on NASA TV at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

If Cygnus launches as scheduled, the spacecraft will arrive at the space station on Tuesday, July 15.

› More information and TV coverage details
› NASA’s Orbital website