Solar Arrays Successfully Deployed on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus Spacecraft

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Saturday, November 2, 2019, in Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The solar arrays have successfully deployed on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft that is its way to deliver about 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, and hardware to the International Space Station. This is the company’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA.

A cloud follows a rocket through a clear blue sky.
Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

This mission, designated NG-12, will be in orbit at the same time as its predecessor, the NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft, which launched in April on an extended duration flight. The NG-12 Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the space station until January before it disposes of several thousand pounds of trash through its fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. The ability to fly two vehicles at once further demonstrates the robustness of Cygnus to support the goals of NASA’s ambitious missions.

Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival to the orbiting laboratory will begin Monday, Nov. 4 at 2:45 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Expedition 61 astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Cygnus at around 4:10 a.m., while NASA’s Andrew Morgan monitors telemetry. The spacecraft is scheduled to stay at the space station until January.

Follow the Cygnus spacecraft’s arrival to the orbiting laboratory on the space station blog and @space_station and @ISS_Research Twitter accounts, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

What’s On Board? Research Heading to the International Space Station

Supplies and scientific experiments ride to the International Space Station on a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft (NG-12) scheduled for launch on Nov. 2. The investigations making the trip range from research into human control of robotics in space to reprocessing fibers for 3D printing. Cygnus lifts off on the Antares rocket from pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island in Virginia.

Resupply missions from U.S. companies ensure NASA’s capability to deliver critical science research to the space station and significantly increase its ability to conduct new investigations in the only laboratory in space. This is the first mission under Northrop’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA.

Read about some of the scientific investigations NG-12 delivers to the space station. 

Watch the Antares Launch Live Online

Live launch coverage schedule:

Friday, Nov. 1, 2:30 p.m. ET: Pre-launch briefing for Northrop Grumman’s cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Saturday, Nov. 2, 9:59 a.m. ET: Launch of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft on resupply mission. Lifting off aboard an Antares rocket from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Cygnus will deliver several tons of cargo including supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station.

Weather Still 95% Favorable for Northrop Grumman’s CRS-12 Launch Nov. 2

A rocket with cloudy skies in the background from the perspective of a boat on the ocean
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is seen in the early morning on launch Pad-0A, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The latest weather forecast stands at 95% favorable for the launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At this time, the only weather concern being tracked is a very slight chance of cloud ceilings for a launch attempt on Saturday morning.

Northrop Grumman’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. NASA’s commercial partner Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its Antares rocket carrying its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station at 9:59 a.m. EDT on Nov. 2.

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 95% Favorable for Northrop Grumman’s CRS-12 Launch Nov. 2

NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its next resupply mission to the International Space Station. Following a launch readiness review meeting, the teams are “go” for launch at 9:59 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The latest weather forecast stands at 95% favorable for the launch of the company’s Antares rocket from pad 0A at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At this time, the only weather concern being tracked is a very slight chance of cloud ceilings for a launch attempt on Saturday morning.

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is seen a few hours after arriving at launch Pad-0A, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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.

Viewing Map for NG-12 Antares Launch

Parts of the Eastern United States may see Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, scheduled for 9:59 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Nov. 2. This map indicates when (in seconds) and where to look up in the sky after liftoff:

Viewing map for NG-12 cargo mission launch.

Outside the predicted visibility area? NASA TV coverage of the launch begins at 9:30 a.m.

Antares Rocket for Northrop Grumman CRS-12 Rolls to Launch Pad

NASA’s commercial partner Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its Antares rocket carrying its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station at 9:59 a.m. EDT Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  NASA TV coverage of the launch on Nov. 2 begins at 9:30 a.m.

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is seen in the early morning on launch Pad-0A, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Loaded with about 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware, this is Northrop Grumman’s 12th commercial resupply NASA-contracted mission. It will launch from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The team rolled the Antares rocket out to Pad-0A at Wallops on Oct. 29. Images of rollout and the rocket at the pad.

Next Northrop Grumman Cygnus Launch NET November 2

Northrop Grumman’s 12th commercial resupply NASA-contracted mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station is now scheduled for no earlier than Nov. 2, 2019. The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

This NET date is reflective of the expected departure of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) HTV-8 cargo vehicle in October, as well as other station activities.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, is seen on Pad-0A, Nov. 14, 2018 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s next contracted cargo resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station, CRS-12, is currently scheduled for no earlier than Nov. 2, 2019. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

News Conference, Launch Blog Coverage Conclude

The post-launch news conference for Northrop Grumman’s 11th NASA-contracted commercial resupply  mission has concluded.

From left to right: Briefing moderator Stephanie Schierholz, Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters; Joel Montalbano, deputy manager, International Space Station Program at NASA; Kurt Eberly, Antares vice president at Northrop Grumman; and Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, Space Systems, Northrop Grumman. Credit: NASA

NASA’s commercial partner Northrop Grumman launched its Antares rocket carrying its Cygnus cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station at 4:46 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 17. Liftoff was from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the state’s Eastern Shore.

Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Chris Perry

The Cygnus will arrive at the International Space Station Friday morning carrying about 7,600 pounds of research investigations and equipment, cargo and supplies that will support some of the hundreds of investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory. The Cygnus spacecraft will be attached to the bottom of the station’s Unity module, where it will remain for about three months.

File photo of a Cygnus cargo spacecraft with UltraFlex solar arrays deployed. This Cygnus was photographed as it departed the International Space Station Dec. 5, 2017, during Expedition 53. Credit: NASA

Among the science investigations: testing gels in microgravity as models for growing increasingly complex materials, a new tool to conduct life sciences research with just a few drops of blood, exploring Vascular Aging and the effects of weightlessness on the blood vessels and heart, examining the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production, and immune memory, demonstrating the first two of three Astrobee robots, and a technology that tests a method to remove carbon dioxide from air aboard the orbiting outpost.

Post-launch press release from NASA
Mission photography from NASA Headquarters’ Flickr

Post-Launch News Conference for Northrop Grumman CRS-11

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off aboard an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore  at 4:46 p.m. EDT April 17. NASA Television has resumed live coverage for a post-launch press conference.

Participants:

Joel Montalbano, deputy manager, International Space Station Program
Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, Space Systems, Northrop Grumman
Kurt Eberly, Antares vice president at Northrop Grumman