Orbital ATK, in conjunction with NASA, has moved the launch of its ninth contracted mission to the International Space Station to no earlier than 4:39 a.m. EDT Monday, May 21, to support further prelaunch inspections and more favorable weather conditions.
May 21 currently shows an 80-percent probability of acceptable weather for launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the company’s Antares rocket from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops.
NASA TV coverage of launch activities is as follows:
Saturday, May 19
- 1 p.m. – What’s On Board briefing: Scientists and researchers discuss some of the investigations heading to the station on Cygnus.
Sunday, May 20
- 11 a.m. – Prelaunch Briefing: Mission managers will provide an overview and status of launch operations.
Monday, May 21
- 4 a.m. – Live coverage of the launch begins
- 5:45 a.m. – Deployment of the Cygnus spacecraft’s solar arrays
- 7 a.m. – Postlaunch news conference
Thursday, May 24
- 3:45 a.m. – Rendezvous and capture of the Cygnus spacecraft at the International Space Station, scheduled for 5:20 a.m.
- 7:30 a.m. – Installation of the spacecraft to the space station.
Three NASA astronauts aboard the station will manage the spacecraft’s arrival. Expedition 55 Flight Engineer Scott Tingle will grapple the spacecraft, backed by Ricky Arnold, and Drew Feustel will monitor Cygnus systems during its approach. They will use the space station’s robotic Canadarm2 to grab the spacecraft and ground controllers will command the robotic arm to rotate and install Cygnus onto the station’s Unity module.
Cygnus will remain at the space station until July 15.