Hurricane Gonzalo pushes ORB3 launch to NET Oct 27

Hurricane Gonzalo pushes ORB3 launch to NET Oct 27

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Hurricane Gonzalo pushes toward Bermuda and that pushes ORB3 launch to back to “no earlier than” (NET) Oct 27, 2014.

“The Wallops range relies on the Bermuda downrange assets to track and maintain data communications with the Antares rocket during flight and ultimately to ensure public safety during launch operations,” said Steven Kremer, Chief of the Wallops Range and Mission Management Office.

From Orbital’s mission update page:

Due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo on the island of Bermuda, where an essential tracking site used to ensure public safety during Antares launches is located, the previously announced “no earlier than” (NET) launch date of October 24 for the Orb-3 CRS mission to the International Space Station for NASA is no longer feasible.

Once the hurricane has passed Bermuda, a team from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Range will return to the tracking site to assess the situation and begin the process of re-enabling the site’s functionality to support the launch.

Today, Orbital and NASA together established a NET October 27 for the launch of the Orb-3 mission from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops. However, depending on the impact of the storm on Bermuda’s essential infrastructure systems such as transportation, power and communications, the launch date could be moved later. The launch schedule has been established in order to build flexibility into the overall mission schedule.

For an October 27 launch, lift-off time of the Antares rocket is targeted for 6:44 p.m. (EDT). The rendezvous and berthing of Cygnus with the ISS remains on November 2, with grapple of the spacecraft by the station’s robotic arm at approximately 4:58 a.m. (EST).

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