Aside from the slight chance of cloud ceilings at 2,000 feet, conditions look excellent with no real weather concerns at this time for the launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on Sunday, Nov. 12. The five-minute launch window opens at 7:14 a.m. EST. The Wallops range forecast is 90 percent favorable.
Canadian high pressure will ridge over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states today with dry and unseasonably cold conditions. The area of high pressure will remain over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states through Sunday morning’s launch attempt, before sliding off the coast Sunday afternoon. The low-level stratus cloudiness off the Wallops coastline this morning will remain off the Wallops coastline today. As the area of high pressure begins to slide off the Northeast coastline Sunday morning, there is a slight chance of the low-level stratus moving onshore over the Wallops Region Sunday morning.
The launch was scrubbed for Nov. 11 after a small aircraft was detected in the vicinity of the launch pad, flying at about 500 feet approximately 6 miles offshore.
The launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft has scrubbed for Saturday after an aircraft was detected in the vicinity of the launch pad. The next launch attempt is set for Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7:14 a.m. EST.
Countdown is continuing for today’s scheduled launch of the eighth Orbital ATK contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft is set to lift off on an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Weather is favorable for liftoff at 7:37 a.m. EST.
The cargo mission to the International Space Station will carry 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 53 and 54.
With just about 90 minutes until launch, fueling has begun for Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket, carrying the International Space Station-bound Cygnus cargo spacecraft. The launch window opens at 7:37 a.m. EST.
The latest forecast puts weather at 100-percent favorable for the launch: “zero percent chance for violation.”
Orbital ATK will launch its Antares rocket at 7:37 a.m. EST on Nov. 11, 2017, from Virginia Space’s Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft atop Antares is loaded with 7,400 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station. Apart from food and other equipment, much of this cargo is research-geared, supporting 300 new or ongoing scientific investigations occurring as part of the International Space Station’s Expedition 53-54.
Here are some highlights of research that will be delivered to the station:
Investigation tests bacterial antibiotic resistance in microgravity
Antibiotic resistance could pose a danger to astronauts, especially since microgravity has been shown to weaken human immune response. E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) will study microgravity’s effect on bacterial antibiotic resistance. The experiment will expose two strains of E. coli, one with a resistance gene, the other without, to three different doses of antibiotics, then examine the viability of each group. Results from this investigation could contribute to determining appropriate antibiotic dosages to protect astronaut health during long-duration human spaceflight and help us understand how antibiotic effectiveness may change as a function of stress on Earth.
CubeSat used as a laser communication technology testbed
Traditional laser communication systems use transmitters that are far too large for small spacecraft. The Optical Communication Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) tests the functionality of laser-based communications using CubeSats that provide a compact version of the technology. Results from OCSD could lead to significantly enhanced communication speeds between space and Earth and a better understanding of laser communication between small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
Hybrid solar antenna seeks solution to long distance communications in space
As space exploration increases, so will the need for improved power and communication technologies. The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna (ISARA), a hybrid solar power panel and communication solar antenna that can send and receive messages, tests the use of this technology in CubeSat-based environmental monitoring. ISARA may provide a solution for sending and receiving information to and from faraway destinations, both on Earth and in space.
Nitrogen fixation process tested in microgravity environment The Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Microgravity via Rhizobium-Legume Symbiosis (Biological Nitrogen Fixation) investigation examines how low-gravity conditions affect the nitrogen fixation process of Microclover, a resilient and drought tolerant legume. The nitrogen fixation process, a process by which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into a usable form for living organisms, is a crucial element of any ecosystem necessary for most types of plant growth. This investigation could provide information on the space viability of the legume’s ability to use and recycle nutrients and give researchers a better understanding of this plant’s potential uses on Earth.
Life cycle of alternative protein source studied
Mealworms are high in nutrients and one of the most common sources of alternative protein in developing countries. The Effects of Microgravity on the Life Cycle of Tenebrio Molitor (Tenebrio Molitor) investigation studies how the microgravity environment affects the mealworm life cycle. In addition to alternative protein research, this investigation will provide information about animal growth under unique conditions.
Investigation studies advances in plant and crop growth in space
The Life Cycle of Arabidopsis thaliana in Microgravity investigation studies the formation and functionality of the Arabidopsis thaliana, a mustard plant with a well-known genome that makes it ideal for research, in microgravity conditions. The results from this investigation will contribute to an understanding of plant and crop growth in space, a vital aspect to long-term spaceflight missions.
The Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Tenebrio Molitor are student investigations in the Go for Launch! – Higher Orbits program and sponsored by Space Tango and the ISS National Lab, which is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). The Arabidopsis thaliana investigation, also a student investigation, is a part of the Magnitude.io program, sponsored by Space Tango and CASIS.
OA-8 marks Orbital ATK’s eighth cargo delivery mission to the space station, and the research on board will join many other investigations currently happening aboard the orbiting laboratory. Follow @ISS_Research for more information about the science happening on station.
The pre-launch press conference for tomorrow’s launch has concluded. Systems tests this morning went well, and weather conditions remain green.
Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station, targeted for 7:37 a.m. EST Nov. 11, 2017, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch window is open for about five minutes.
Systems tests this morning went well, with one nitrogen regulator on the ground being changed out with a replacement this afternoon. Orbital ATK’s minimum temperature constraint for Antares is 20 degrees F, so currently forecast launch temperatures (and the overall weather) are not expected to pose a problem. At launch time, temperatures are expected to be about 25 to 30 degrees.
Aside from the unseasonable cold temperatures, weather conditions look excellent for Nov. 11’s launch attempt of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket with no real weather concerns at this time, according to the latest forecast for the range at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Weather at launch time, 7:37 a.m. EST, is forecast at 95 percent favorable.
A strong cold front will move through the Wallops Region this morning, Nov. 10, ushering in the coldest airmass of the season. Gusty northwesterly winds will bring a dry and cold airmass into the Wallops Region, with winds possibly gusting as high as 30-35 mph during the late morning and early afternoon today. A broad area of Canadian high pressure will quickly build in behind the front, centering over the Great Lakes Region and ridging south toward the Wallops Region for Saturday morning’s launch.
The unseasonably cold airmass will allow for shallow cumulus cloud development over the Chesapeake Bay this evening into Saturday morning; however, a northerly component to the wind will force the cumulus cloud cover south and west of the Wallops Region. There is only a very slight chance that the cumulus cloud cover will move over the Wallops Region Saturday morning. This weather setup will bring mostly clear and cold conditions for Saturday morning, with temperatures expected to bottom out in the mid- to upper-20s.
The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is raised into the vertical position on launch Pad-0A, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s eighth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew.
Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station, targeted for 7:37 a.m EST Nov. 11, 2017, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Cygnus will launch on an Antares rocket carrying crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crewmembers aboard the station. The spacecraft, named the S.S. Gene Cernan after former NASA astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, who is the last person to have walked on the moon, will deliver scientific investigations including those that will study communication and navigation, microbiology, animal biology and plant biology. Live NASA TV coverage will begin at 7 a.m. EST on Nov. 11.
Aside from the unseasonable cold temperatures, weather conditions look excellent (95 percent favorable) for Saturday’s launch attempt with no real concerns at this time, according to the latest forecast for the launch range.
A strong cold front will move through the Wallops Region Friday morning, ushering in the coldest airmass of the season. Gusty northwesterly winds will accompany the frontal passage on Friday, with winds possibly gusting as high as 30-35 mph. A broad area of Canadian high pressure will quickly build in behind the front, centering over the Great Lakes Region and ridging south toward the Wallops Region for Saturday morning’s launch. This will bring mostly clear and cold conditions for Saturday morning, with temperatures expected to bottom out in the mid to upper 20s.