Northrop Grumman CRS-10 Launch Postponed to Nov. 16

The launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with Cygnus cargo spacecraft has been postponed due to the poor weather forecast for the original launch window on Nov. 15. The revised launch window now opens at 4:23 a.m. EST on Nov. 16 from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus spacecraft aboard, is seen on Pad-0A, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Today’s Wallops range forecast for Nov. 15 assessed weather conditions at 90-percent unfavorable for a launch, with the main concerns being thick clouds, disturbed weather and low cloud ceilings. Heavy rainfall (1-2 inches) and high wind gusts (45-50 mph) are expected.

Rainfall looks to taper off early Friday morning, but strong northwesterly winds are still expected to affect the Eastern Shore during Friday’s backup count and launch window. Winds are expected to be sustained at 25-30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Sea states will also be of concern with the prolonged high wind event: Seas are expected to be 8-12 feet during Friday morning’s count and slightly falling off to 8-10 feet during the launch window.

Conditions look to become quite favorable for a launch Saturday morning with high pressure building into the southeastern U.S. and the Eastern Shore, providing lighter winds and mostly clear to clear skies. One caveat to Saturday however, is that the system expected to impact the Wallops region Thursday will drag a strong front across Bermuda on Friday into early Saturday, providing potentially heavy rainfall and strong winds there prior to the launch window. At this time, conditions do look to improve enough in
Bermuda prior to the expected T-0 Saturday morning with winds diminishing and light rainfall lingering.

Weather in Bermuda is a factor because NASA’s Bermuda Tracking Station supports tracking, telemetry, command and control of launches from both Wallops and Florida.

Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry about 7,400 pounds of crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station, including science and research in support of dozens of research investigations.

Antares NG-10: What’s On Board?

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is set to lift off aboard the company’s Antares rocket on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:49 a.m. EST (9:49 a.m. UTC) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry about 7,500 pounds of crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station, including science and research in support of dozens of research investigations.

Highlights of space station research that will be facilitated by investigations aboard this Cygnus include:

A test of the first integrated 3D printer and recycler to turn waste plastic materials into high-quality 3D-printer filament to create tools and materials, a key capability for future long-duration space missions beyond low-Earth orbit.

Dr. Allison Porter, flight missions manager at Tethers Unlimited Inc., with a mock-up of the Refabricator, a combination 3D printer and recycler, headed to the International Space Station aboard NG-10. In Porter’s hand is a roll of 3D printer filament. Credit: NASA TV

A lab-on-a-chip (a fully automated, multifunctional cell culture platform) investigation looking at skeletal muscle cells, which aims to better understand muscle growth and repair in microgravity.


Higher Orbits’ “Go For Launch” student program is supplying an experiment that focuses on the evaluation of self-healing materials in microgravity, the work of students Spencer Harris, George Tang, Ryan Ferzoco, Tarun Golla and Abby Maltese.

Image courtesy Higher Orbits.

An investigation into the complex process of cement solidification to explore how gravity levels like those on the Moon and Mars may potentially affect concrete hardening.


Research to develop a mathematical model for how an astronaut’s perception of motion, body position and distance to objects changes in space.


Included in the cargo are investigations that will enable U.S. National Laboratory research, which is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. They include an investigation to evaluate growth of protein crystals implicated in Parkinson’s disease and astrophysics research to examine the formation of chondrules, some of the oldest material in the solar system.

Additional science highlights
How and where to view the launch
Full TV/streaming coverage details

 

L-2 Forecast: 30-Percent Favorable

The latest Wallops range forecast for the scheduled launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket on Nov. 15 puts weather at 30-percent favorable. At this time, the main weather concerns for a Thursday morning launch are thick clouds, disturbed weather and low cloud ceilings.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is seen on Pad-0A after being raised into a vertical position, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 10th contracted cargo resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 7,500 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Launch is scheduled for Nov. 15 at 4:49 a.m. EST. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

An area of low pressure will quickly develop on Wednesday over the Deep South, bringing rain showers to the Southeastern United States during the day. These showers will progress to the northeast on Wednesday night into early Thursday, likely arriving in the Wallops area by the time of the launch window.


Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard was rolled out of the Horizontal Integration Facility and to the launch pad at Wallops late in the evening on Nov. 12, 2018, as seen in this time-lapse video. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black

After the launch window, rain will become heavy at times with increasing winds during the day on Thursday. Windy conditions will continue through Friday, with winds diminishing Friday night.

The Antares, with its International Space Station-bound Cygnus cargo spacecraft, is scheduled for liftoff at 4:49 a.m. EST on Nov. 15 from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

How and where to view the launch
Full TV/streaming coverage details

Antares Rocket Arrives at Launch Pad

Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard is now at Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The Antares was rolled out of the Horizontal Integration Facility at Wallops late in the evening on Nov. 12.

NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its NG-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station at 4:49 a.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 15.

Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black
Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black
Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black

The NG-10 mission’s Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS John Young, after NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy officer John Young, is loaded with 7,500 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware.

Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. EST Nov. 14 on the Wallops video and audio Ustream sites. Launch coverage and commentary on NASA TV will begin at 4:15 a.m. EST Nov. 15.

How and where to view the launch
Full TV/streaming coverage details

Forecast for NG-10 Launch, 3 Days Out

The three-days-out launch range forecast has been issued for Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with Cygnus cargo spacecraft on the company’s NG-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for 4:49 a.m EST on Nov. 15 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

An area of low pressure is expected to develop and bring rain showers to the Southeastern United States on Wednesday. These showers will quickly progress to the northeast on Wednesday night into early Thursday, drawing very close to Wallops by the launch window early Thursday morning. The timing of these showers will be key for determining weather suitability for launch Thursday.

NG-10 and NG-11 Antares rockets at Wallops HIF
Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket for its NG-10 commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station is seen on the left in the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in this photo from Nov. 4, 2018. The mission’s Cygnus spacecraft is shown in the middle of the facility. The Antares NG-11 rocket scheduled to launch in spring 2019 is on the right. Credits: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black
The Cygnus spacecraft for the NG-10 mission, photographed in October at Wallops. Credits: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black

The next launch range forecast will be issued Nov. 13.

The NG-10 mission’s Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS John Young, after NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy officer John Young, is loaded with 7,500 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware.

Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. EST Nov. 14 on the Wallops video and audio Ustream sites. Launch coverage and commentary on NASA TV will begin at 4:15 a.m. EST Nov. 15.

How and where to view the launch
Full TV/streaming coverage details

How to View Nov. 15 NG-10 Antares Launch

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are set to support the launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket, carrying the company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station at 4:49 a.m. EST, Nov. 15.

The launch may be visible, weather permitting, to residents up and down the East Coast of the United States.

launch viewing map for NG-10
The launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, scheduled for 4:49 a.m. EST on Nov, 15, 2018, may be visible throughout the Mid-Atlantic, depending on local conditions. Credit: NASA/Stephan Wlodarczyk

When accessed from a smartphone browser, the Wallops Mission Status Center website can provide specific viewing information based on your location. Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. Nov. 14 on the Wallops video and audio Ustream sites.

Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. EST Nov. 14 on the Wallops video and audio Ustream sites. Launch coverage and commentary on NASA TV will begin at 4:15 a.m. EST Nov. 15.

Full coverage details

For local launch-viewers, the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops opens at 1 a.m. on launch day for public viewing. Additional locations for catching the launch are Robert Reed Park on Chincoteague Island or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. Assateague Island National Seashore/Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia will not be open for viewing the launch.

Visitors are reminded that alcohol, pets and firearms are not allowed on the NASA Visitor Center grounds.

Guidance from NASA on drone use for viewing Wallops launches
Guidance for mariners (PDF)
Guidance for pilots (PDF)

Under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry about 7,200 pounds of crew supplies and hardware to the space station, including science and research in support of dozens of research investigations.

Included in the cargo are investigations that will enable U.S. National Laboratory research, which is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. They include a physical sciences investigation to evaluate a method for producing fiber optic cable in space and astrophysics research to examine the formation of chondrules, some of the oldest material in the solar system.

CRS-9 Launch: Additional Views


Video Credit: Optical Systems Group, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off aboard the company’s Antares rocket at 4:44:06 a.m. EDT May 21, 2018, from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The International Space Station-bound Cygnus was loaded with about 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations occurring during the space station’s Expeditions 55 and 56.

The three video sequences above show the CRS-9 launch from remotely operated cameras at the pad (sequence Nos. 1 and 2) and a camera operated at a viewing site a few miles away (sequence No. 3).

(Photo courtesy Jared Haworth/We Report Space)
it’s a 5 minute, 56 second exposure shot on a full frame Canon camera with a 17-40mm lens. The camera was set at ISO100, f/16 and bulb mode, requiring the use of a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release cable to prevent any shaking or blur of the image. In order to prevent the launchpad from being too overexposed, the picture was actually started a few seconds after ignition, as the rocket began to clear the transporter-erector-launcher. Past experience at Wallops told me that the rocket would appear to travel “right to left” at launch, and that the second stage should be visible about four minutes into flight. The early morning launch meant the second stage would be illuminated by the sun even while our viewing location was still in the pre-dawn darkness.

CRS-9 Post-Launch Press Conference Complete; Launch Blog Coverage Concludes

Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off aboard the company’s Antares rocket at 4:44:06 a.m. EDT May 21 from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The International Space Station-bound Cygnus is loaded with about 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 55 and 56.

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

The cargo ship will rendezvous with the International Space Station on Thursday, May 24. Expedition 55 Flight Engineer Scott Tingle will grapple the spacecraft at approximately 5:20 a.m. EDT, backed by Ricky Arnold, and Drew Feustel will monitor Cygnus systems during its approach. They will use the space station’s robotic Canadarm2 to take hold of the Cygnus, dubbed the S.S. James “J.R.” Thompson. After Cygnus’ capture, ground controllers will command the robotic arm to rotate and install Cygnus onto the station’s Unity module. It is scheduled depart the space station in mid-July.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 3:45 a.m. Thursday, May 24. Installation coverage is set to begin at 7:30 a.m.

Science investigations aboard Cygnus on their way to the space station also include commercial and academic payloads in myriad disciplines, including:

  • The Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST), an investigation to identify unknown microbial organisms on the space station and understand how humans, plants and microbes adapt to living on the station
  • The Cold Atom Laboratory, a physics research facility used by scientists to explore how atoms interact when they have almost no motion due to extreme cold temperatures
  • A unique liquid separation system from Zaiput Flow Technologies that relies on surface forces, rather than gravity, to extract one liquid from another
  • The Ice Cubes Facility, the first commercial European opportunity to conduct research in space, made possible through an agreement with ESA (European Space Agency) and Space Applications Services.
  • The Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS) experiment is to investigate and understand the complex process of cement solidification in microgravity with the intent of improving Earth-based cement and concrete processing and as the first steps toward making and using concrete on extraterrestrial bodies.
  • Three Earth science CubeSats
    • RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat) will be NASA’s first active sensing instrument on a CubeSat that could enable future rainfall profiling missions on low-cost, quick-turnaround platforms.
    • TEMPEST-D (Temporal Experiment for Storms and Tropical Systems Demonstration) is mission to validate technology that could improve our understanding of cloud processes.
    • CubeRRT (CubeSat Radiometer Radio Frequency Interference Technology) will seek to demonstrate a new technology that can identify and filter radio frequency interference, which is a growing problem that negatively affects the data quality collected by radiometers, instruments used in space for critical weather data and climate studies.

CRS-9 mission photos from NASA on Flickr

NASA press release: “NASA Sends New Research on Orbital ATK Mission to Space Station”

More information on Orbital ATK’s partnership with NASA

More information on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Cygnus Solar Arrays Deployed Successfully

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus has deployed its solar arrays.

This file photo, taken from the International Space Station, shows an Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship with its cymbal-like UltraFlex solar arrays approaching the ISS in November 2017. Credit: NASA
The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Allison Stancil

The Cygnus lifted off aboard Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket at 4:44:06 a.m. EDT  from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The International Space Station-bound Cygnus is loaded with about 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 55 and 56.

Live NASA TV coverage will resume for a post-launch briefing at 7 a.m. EDT.

The CRS-9 Cygnus is scheduled to arrive at the space station Thursday, May 24.

NASA TV Coverage Resumes for CRS-9 Solar Array Deployment

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

NASA TV live commentary has resumed for coverage of solar array deployment on Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft. The deployment begins at roughly 6 a.m. EDT and lasts about 30 minutes.

The Cygnus lifted off aboard Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket at 4:44 a.m. EDT  from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The International Space Station-bound Cygnus is loaded with about 7,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 55 and 56.

The CRS-9 Cygnus is scheduled to arrive at the space station Thursday, May 24.