About 90 Minutes Until Launch; Weather Still at 75% Favorable

The latest Wallops Range forecast keeps weather at 75% favorable for the 12:36 p.m. EST launch window today of NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman‘s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia. The International Space Station-bound Cygnus is loaded with about 8,000 pounds of cargo.

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST.

Countdown Underway for NG-15 Launch; How to Watch

The countdown is underway for today’s 12:36 p.m. EST launch window of NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman‘s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Weather continues to be 75% favorable for the launch of this resupply mission to the International Space Station.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is in the vertical launch position on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

For those who’d like to follow along with the count early, live video and control room chatter is now airing on NASA Wallops’ IBM Cloud Video. Live coverage of the launch with commentary will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST.

The five-minute launch window opens at 12:36 p.m. EST, with liftoff taking place at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia.

In this time-lapse video, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is transported from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A. There it is lifted to its vertical position, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Patrick Black

The NASA Visitor Center — including its parking lot — at Wallops will be CLOSED for this launch.

Viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The beach at the Assateague Island National Seashore/Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will NOT be open during the launch.

This launch occurs during daylight hours, so it will not be as visible as a launch at night. However, depending on cloud cover and other local conditions (such as elevation and obstruction of the horizon), it still may be visible in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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 is loaded with about 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware. Research investigations launching to the orbiting laboratory aboard this Cygnus include:

  • The Spaceborne Computer-2 from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which aims to demonstrate that current Earth-based data processing of space station experimental data can be performed in orbit
  • An experiment studying muscle strength in worms
  • An investigation into how microgravity may optimize the production of artificial retinas

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 the only laboratory in space.

Weather Stands at 75% Favorable for Tomorrow’s Antares Launch

The Friday Wallops Range forecast keeps weather at 75% favorable for tomorrow’s launch window of NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman‘s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

The primary concerns for launch at this time are ground winds and a slight chance of cloud ceilings and cumulus clouds.

Rain showers will continue throughout the day on Friday as an area of low pressure moves off the Mid-Atlantic Coast. As the associated frontal boundary moves out to sea, precipitation will come to an end late this afternoon into the early evening hours.

High pressure will quickly build into the region overnight, providing a decrease in cloudiness and chilly conditions for launch. Breezy, northwesterly winds (20-25 knot gusts) are expected overnight tonight and into the day on Saturday. Gusty winds will result in sea states generally running from 4-6 feet in the surveillance areas off the Wallops coast.

Although clouds will decrease in coverage late tonight and into the morning on Saturday, some scattered cloudiness is expected at T-0.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is in the vertical launch position on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 15th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. The CRS-15 Cygnus spacecraft is named after NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, a Black woman who time and again broke through barriers of gender and race. The launch is scheduled 12:36 p.m. EST, Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

Northrop Grumman is targeting 12:36 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, for the International Space Station-bound Cygnus, loaded with about 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware. Launch will be from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20.

Public Shares What They LOVE About Space in Advance of NG-15’s Valentine Season Launch

Your love of space is broad! In the Valentine’s season of love, NASA’s virtual guests for NG-15 shared what they love most about space, and more than 5,000 different responses came in. There were many different aspects shared, and one respondent even stated it would “be a shorter list saying what I don’t like.”

Over 20% reported that they loved “everything” or “all” of space. Also receiving a lot of love: “exploring,” “the unknown,” “discovery,” and “possibilities.” Stars slightly edged out planets as a source of adoration, as they were mentioned in just over 4% of responses, and stars in just under 4% (3.7% in fact). In this very subjective polling, the moons and Mars were mentioned in similar frequency. Black holes, astronauts, and exoplanets also received love notes.

What warmed our hearts here at NASA? We see you, Artemis lovers, and those who cited “the people that make it possible.” 

One participant was inspired by love of space to write a poem about the moon that concluded, “don’t be sad, Moon, please don’t cry. For I still love you in the sky.” It’s hard to send the Moon chocolates, but certainly it can hear our poetry! Did you know you could send a space-themed Valentine or anytime notes with this NASA feature?

Don’t forget, you can to tune in on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, to watch live coverage of for the launch of Northrop Grumman’s 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Loaded with about 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware, the company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the company’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Prelaunch Briefing This Morning for Northrop Grumman CRS-15 Launch

A prelaunch briefing will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website today beginning at 11 a.m. EST to highlight launch preparations for Northrop Grumman’s 15th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station to deliver approximately 8,000 pounds of research, supplies, and hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew.

Viewers can submit questions for the briefings using #askNASA on social media.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is in the vertical launch position on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 15th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. The CRS-15 Cygnus spacecraft is named after NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, a Black woman who time and again broke through barriers of gender and race. The launch is scheduled 12:36 p.m. EST, Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

The Cygnus is scheduled for launch on the company’s Antares rocket at 12:36 p.m. EST, Saturday, Feb. 20, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The prelaunch briefing participants are:

  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA
  • David Brady, associate program scientist, International Space Station Program Science Office, NASA
  • Shannon Fitzpatrick, chief, Range and Mission Management Office, Wallops Flight Facility, NASA
  • Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, Tactical Space, Northrop Grumman
  • Kurt Eberly, director, Space Launch Programs, Launch and Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman

Follow launch activities at the launch blog and @NASA_Wallops and learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Weather Remains 75% Favorable for 2/20 Launch

Today’s Wallops Range forecast keeps weather at 75% favorable for the Saturday launch window of NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

Northwesterly winds are expected Saturday morning into Saturday afternoon as an arctic area of high pressure builds into the Mid-Atlantic. Scattered low-level clouds, breezy winds, and cold temperatures are expected for Saturday, Feb. 20. The primary concerns for launch at this time are ground winds and a very slight chance of cumulus clouds and cloud ceilings.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is in the vertical launch position on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 15th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. The CRS-15 Cygnus spacecraft is named after NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, a Black woman who time and again broke through barriers of gender and race. The launch is scheduled 12:36 p.m. EST, Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

Northrop Grumman is targeting 12:36 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, for the International Space Station-bound Cygnus, loaded with about 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware. Launch will be from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, with a prelaunch event Friday, Feb. 19.

Weather Forecast at 75% Favorable for Saturday’s NG CRS-15 Launch

The Wallops Range forecast issued today for the Feb. 20 launch of Northrop Grumman’s 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station puts weather at 75% favorable, with ground winds and cumulus clouds being the main weather concerns.

NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is targeting 12:36 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, for the launch.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is in the vertical launch position on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 15th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. The CRS-15 Cygnus spacecraft is named after NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, a Black woman who time and again broke through barriers of gender and race. The launch is scheduled 12:36 p.m. EST, Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

Loaded with approximately 8,000 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 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, with a prelaunch event Friday, Feb. 19.

NASA Offers Public a NG CRS-15 Virtual Stamp Following Launch

NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is targeting Saturday, Feb. 20, for the launch of its 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Guests can participate in the launch by registering for NASA’s virtual passport program.

NASA’s virtual passport program started in 2020 as a way for the public to join the excitement and inspiration of NASA launches and milestones with the NASA Virtual Guest Program.

Loaded with approximately 8,000 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. The five-minute launch window is set to open at 12:36 p.m. EST.

Anyone can receive a stamp by registering to let NASA know they’re participating virtually. Registration includes a short series of emails with curated resources, notifications about NASA social interactions, and updates of any launch time or date changes.example of virtual passport, with four event stamps taped inside

Whether it’s your first stamp or your sixth, NASA hopes you’ll print, fold, and get ready to fill your virtual passport. Stamps will be emailed, following launch, to all virtual attendees registered by email.

Live coverage of the launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20

RSVP to the Facebook event for social media updates to stay up to date on mission information, mission highlights, and interaction opportunities.

Learn more about the Northrop Grumman CRS-15 mission by going to the mission home page.

Cygnus Solar Arrays Deploy; Launch Blog Coverage Concludes

The solar arrays have successfully deployed on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft that is on its way to deliver nearly 8,000 pounds of scientific investigations, technology demonstrations, commercial products, and other cargo to the International Space Station after launching at 9:16 p.m. EDT Thursday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Post-launch press release from NASA

File photo of a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft (CRS-12) with solar arrays deployed, Nov. 4, 2019. Credit: NASA

Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival to the orbiting laboratory will begin Monday, Oct. 5 at 3:45 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Cygnus, while Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos monitors telemetry during rendezvous, capture, and installation on the Unity module’s Earth-facing port. NASA TV coverage of the spacecraft’s installation will begin at 7:30 a.m.

This delivery – Northrop Grumman’s 14th contracted cargo flight to the space station and the third under its Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA – will support dozens of new and existing investigations.

Included aboard Cygnus for delivery to the space station:

Improving how we ‘go’ in space

A new toilet is headed to the space station. Its features improve on current space toilet operations and help NASA prepare for future missions, including those to the Moon and Mars. The Universal Waste Management System (UWMS) demonstrates a compact toilet and the Urine Transfer System that further automates waste management and storage. The smaller footprint of the UWMS supports a possible increase in the number of crew members aboard the space station, as well as planning for future exploration missions.

Energy and water from waste

The investigation Elucidating the Ammonia Electrochemical Oxidation Mechanism via Electrochemical Techniques at the ISS (Ammonia Electrooxidation) examines a process for ammonia oxidation in microgravity. An electrochemical ammonia removal system could serve as an innovative water recovery system on long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and provide vital drinkable water in remote and arid areas on Earth.

Adding radishes to the space salad

A new crop of vegetables is headed to the space station. While previous experiments have grown different types of lettuces and greens aboard the orbiting laboratory, the Assessment of Nutritional Value and Growth Parameters of Space-grown Plants (Plant Habitat-02) investigation adds radishes to the mix, cultivating seeds to see how different light and soil conditions affect growth. Findings could help optimize growth of the plants in space, as well as provide an assessment of their nutrition and taste.

Identifying targeted cancer treatments

The Leveraging Microgravity to Screen Onco-selective Messenger RNAs for Cancer Immunotherapy (Onco-Selectors) investigation tests drugs based on messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNA) for treating leukemia. In normal gravity, the drugs to be tested are onco-selective, meaning they can distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones. Researchers expect any drugs that also demonstrate this trait in microgravity could make good candidates for safer, more effective, and affordable medicines to treat leukemia and other cancers. This could improve survival rates for thousands of people every year.

Spacewalks in virtual reality

The International Space Station Experience (ISS Experience) is creating an immersive virtual reality series documenting life and research aboard the space station. Partnering with the ISS National Lab and TIME, a team from Felix and Paul Studios launched a customized 360-degree camera to the space station in December 2018 that crew members have used to record a few hours inside the station every week. Felix and Paul and partner NanoRacks further modified an additional camera to withstand the extreme conditions of space and are launching for use in filming a spacewalk. The new camera will be mounted to the Canadarm2 to capture a spacewalk from start to finish as well as footage of Earth and the exterior of the space station.

These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science. Advances in these areas will help to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars through NASA’s Artemis program.

In addition to science and research, this launch will also support commercial space endeavors. Estée Lauder’s New Advanced Night Repair serum will be photographed in the space station’s iconic cupola window as part of NASA’s efforts to enable commercial activities at the space station and develop a robust low-Earth orbit economy. The imagery will be used on the brand’s social media platforms. These opportunities can help catalyze and expand space exploration markets for many businesses.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.

TV Coverage Wraps; Solar Array Deployment Begins Approx. 11 p.m.

Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off at 9:16 p.m. EDT from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Space Port Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Cygnus is on its way to the International Space Station with almost 8,000 pounds of cargo. At the time of launch, the station was flying over the Southern Indian Ocean.

Live launch coverage has wrapped. Shortly after 11 p.m. EDT, commands will be given to deploy the spacecraft’s solar arrays. Solar array deployment is expected to be complete by midnight.

Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

Credit: NASA Wallops/Terry Zaperach

Credit: NASA Wallops/Allison Stancil