Pre-Launch Science Briefing

A media briefing previewing the science and technology cargo headed to the International Space Station aboard the Cygnus spacecraft (scheduled for launch Sunday at 12:52 p.m. EDT) will occur at 4 p.m. EDT today.

The briefing will be aired on NASA Television, and members of the public may ask questions on social media by using the #AskNASA hashtag.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Latest TV launch coverage schedule
› Launch viewing maps from Orbital Sciences Corp.
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› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Forecast Update: Weather 90% Favorable for Launch

The Weather Office at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia reports that the forecast is 90-percent favorable for the Orb-2 Antares rocket launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at Wallops. Launch is scheduled for July 13 at 12:52 p.m. EDT.

The main weather concern for the launch appears to be very slight chance of storm clouds.

High pressure will build into the region later this afternoon as a cold front to the south washes out. Light winds, clearer skies and remnant moisture will allow for patchy fog to develop overnight into the early morning hours tomorrow. Fog will burn off by mid-morning Saturday, giving way to partly cloudy skies and dry conditions through Sunday.

Should the launch slip to Monday, July 14, the current forecast reports 70-percent favorable weather.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Launch viewing maps from Orbital Sciences Corp.
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

About the Orb-2 Mission’s Launch Site

The launch of a Cygnus spacecraft aboard an Antares rocket is scheduled for Sunday, July 13, 12:52 p.m. EDT. Liftoff will be from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Antares at its launch pad on July 10, 2014. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Antares at its launch pad on July 10, 2014. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Antares rocket stands 131.5 feet tall, about the height of a 13-story building. The four poles surrounding the pad help protect the rocket from lightning. The water tower (formally the Water Deluge System) holds some 200,000 gallons of freshwater for cooling and noise suppression purposes. The white tank visible in the foreground is part of the Liquid Fueling Facility. Antares’ first stage is fueled with a combination of liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene.

This aerial photograph shows a view of the Wallops Flight Facility's launch range. Credit: NASA
This aerial photograph shows a view of the Wallops Flight Facility’s launch range. Credit: NASA

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, or MARS for short, is a commercial launch site operated in partnership with NASA. The Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft are provided by Orbital Sciences Corp. This Cygnus is loaded with about 3,300 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station. About half the cargo is food, with the remainder being a combination of spare parts, hardware, science experiments, and other items.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Orb-2 Launch Postponed to July 13

Orbital Sciences Corp. has postponed the launch of its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station until 12:52 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 13, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Severe weather in the Wallops area has repeatedly interrupted Orbital’s operations schedule leading up to the launch.

NASA Television coverage of Sunday’s launch will begin at noon.

If Cygnus launches on Sunday, rendezvous will occur on Wednesday, July 16, with grapple scheduled at 6:37 a.m. Rendezvous coverage will begin at 5:15 a.m., followed by berthing coverage at 8:30 a.m.

Cygnus is filled with approximately 3,300 pounds of supplies for the station, including science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 40 crew, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Antares Erected at Launch Pad

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, stands vertically at Launch Pad-0A after successfully being raised into position Thursday, July 10, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, stands vertically at Launch Pad-0A after successfully being raised into position Thursday, July 10, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

At about 3:30 p.m. on July 10, the Antares rocket was raised to its vertical position at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The Antares is scheduled to launch Saturday, July 12 at 1:14 p.m. EDT. The rocket will carry an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft — both provided by Orbital Science Corp. — loaded with 3,293 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station. This mission, named Orbital-2, is the second of eight under Orbital Science Corp.’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Time-Lapse Video: Antares Rolls Out to Launch Pad

This time-lapse video shows the roll out of the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woYN6t0AQsY[/embedyt]

The roughly half-mile roll out began shortly after 4 a.m. on July 10, 2014. Arrival at the pad was about an hour later.

The launch to the International Space Station in scheduled for 1:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 12.

Cygnus is filled with about 3,300 pounds of supplies for the station, including science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 40 crew, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

› NASA’s Orbital website
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Weather Forecast: 80% ‘Go’ for Saturday Launch

The Weather Office at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia reports that the forecast is 80-percent favorable for the Orb-2 Antares rocket launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at Wallops. Launch is scheduled for July 12 at 1:14 p.m. EDT.

The main weather concern for the launch appears to be low-level cloudiness and a very slight chance of storm clouds.

Should the launch slip to Sunday, July 13, the current forecast reports 90-percent favorable weather.

About Orbital-2, Antares and Cygnus

File photo of Antares rocket from preparations for a launch in April 2013. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
File photo of Antares rocket from preparations for a launch in April 2013. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black
The Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

The Orbital-2 mission is scheduled to launch Saturday, July 12 at 1:14 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

An Antares rocket will carry an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft — both provided by Orbital Science Corp. — loaded with 3,293 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station.

This cargo mission is the second of eight under Orbital Science Corp.’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.

The two-stage, 131.5-foot-tall Antares rocket will take about 10 minutes to take Cygnus from the launch pad to the spacecraft’s initial orbit.

This Cygnus is just under 17 feet high and has a carrying capacity of 4,409 pounds (2,000 kg), about the weight of an SUV. (Orb-2’s will carry 3,293 pounds of food, other crew provisions, spare parts, hardware and science experiments to the station.)

Orbital-1 launched to the space station in January this year, following a successful demonstration mission in fall 2013. The first launch of an Antares rocket took place in April 2013.

› NASA’s Orbital website
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› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Antares Rocket Rolls Out to Launch Pad

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, rolled out of the Horizontal Integration Facility to begin the roughly half-mile journey to launch Pad-0A, Thursday, July 10, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch to the International Space Station in scheduled for 1:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 12.

Roll-out began at shortly after 4 a.m., with arrival at the pad about an hour later.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

› NASA’s Orbital website
› More roll-out images on Flickr
› Latest Student Science Heads For Space
› Orbital Mission Delivers Delights to Station
› NASA Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat

Orbital-2 Launch Moves to July 12

Orbital Sciences Corp. has postponed the launch of its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station until 1:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 12, due to weather conditions that delayed the roll-out of the Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Roll-out of the rocket has been rescheduled for Thursday morning.

NASA Television coverage of Saturday’s launch will begin at 12:30 p.m.

If Cygnus launches on Saturday, rendezvous will still occur on Tuesday, July 15, with grapple scheduled at 7:24 a.m. Rendezvous coverage will begin at 6:15 a.m., followed by berthing coverage at 9:30 a.m.

Cygnus is filled with about 3,300 pounds of supplies for the station, including science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 40 crew, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

› Orbital’s update on the launch date change
› NASA’s Orbital website