NASA commercial partner Orbital ATK set Thursday, Dec. 3, for the launch of its fourth contracted mission to the International Space Station under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:55 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41, the beginning of a 30-minute window. NASA confirmed the launch date at the conclusion of Tuesday’s launch readiness review at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. During the meeting, senior NASA, U.S. Air Force, Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and personnel are ready for launch.
Launch coverage on NASA TV and continuous countdown coverage on this NASA Blog will begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
In addition to launch coverage, NASA TV will air three briefings Wednesday, Dec. 2: several experts involved in the launch and mission will host an interactive discussion with the agency’s social media followers from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; at 1 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss some of the investigations to be delivered; at 2 p.m., mission managers will host a prelaunch news conference. A post-launch briefing will be held approximately two hours after launch. All briefings will air live on NASA TV and via streaming video on the blog and on the agency’s website.