Category Archives: Launches

Media Accreditation Open for Next Commercial Space Station Cargo Mission

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January 29, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-007
Media Accreditation Open for Next Commercial Space Station Cargo Mission

A transporter carries the Orbital ATK Cygnus pressurized cargo module, sealed inside a shipping container, to the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The module will soon begin preflight preparations for its upcoming mission to carry hardware and supplies on the company’s Commercial Resupply Services flight to the International Space Station.

Credits: NASA/Charles Babir

NASA has opened media accreditation for the next launch of a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, during a 30-minute window that opens at approximately 3 a.m. EST.

Cygnus will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center. For media only, the deadline to apply for access to CCAFS is 5 p.m. Feb. 18 for U.S. citizens and Feb. 5 for non-citizens. The deadline to apply for media access to Kennedy is 5 p.m. on March 1 for U.S. citizens and Feb. 22 for non-citizens.

All media accreditation requests for Kennedy must be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

International media are required to upload a scanned copy of their visa and passport or green card when submitting their online accreditation request.

All media representatives must present two forms of unexpired legal, government identification to access Kennedy. One form must include a photo, such as a passport or driver’s license. Questions about accreditation should be directed to Jennifer Horner at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov or 321-867-6598.

For other questions or additional information, contact the Kennedy newsroom at 321-867-2468.

This launch is the fifth contracted mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract and will be followed later this year by an Orbital ATK resupply mission launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

Science payloads heading to the space station on this launch include:

  • the second generation of a portable onboard printer to demonstrate 3-D printing;
  • an instrument for first space-based observations of the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere; and
  • an experiment to ignite and study a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle after it leaves the space station and before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere to improving understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguarding future space missions.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk

-end-

NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and USA in Space reprinted here to allow all access to it and to provide an archive of the information.

Wallops Island to receive $20 million from Federal budget to repair damaged the MARS launch pad 0A

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The October explosion of the Orbital Science ORB-3 resupply mission rocket destined to the International Space Station caused an estimated $20 million damage to Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS for short) pad 0A.  It was not clear where the funding would come from to repair the damage. The state Virginia had stated that they did not have the budget to cover the expense.

ORB3-SonyVideoSaveImage2
Photo by JD Taylor

Included in the 1.1 trillion Federal spending bill passed by the House last night (12/11/2014) was the $20 million to cover the pad damage. The Senate is to vote on the bill as early as Friday.    NASA’s overall budget will be increased by 2% to $18 billion next year, that is a $364 million increase over current levels.

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-2nd, also worked with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and the House Appropriations Committee to secure funding in the bill to restore the launch pad, according to his press secretary, Kaylin Minton.
Rigell represents Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where Wallops is located. Minton called the Wallops facility “a world-class operation and a critical component for continued space exploration.”
“These funds will help ensure that future scheduled launches will remain as planned and that commercial spaceflight maintains its economic presence on Virginia’s Eastern Shore at NASA Wallops” reported by Richmond Times-Dispatch (Twitter@mmartzRTD)

Democratic senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced Thursday they’d sought the spending provision in an effort to help the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, known as MARS, “rebound” from that catastrophic launch failure. MARS is located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore.

“The Wallops Flight Facility is a key asset to Virginia that will continue to play a major role in the future of NASA and space exploration,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement on their funding efforts. “We are proud of our work with partners in the House and across the aisle to secure $20 million in federal funding that will help Wallops Island rebound from the launch failure this fall. The Wallops Flight Facility is a key asset to Virginia that will continue to play a major role in the future of NASA and space exploration. We especially want to thank Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Appropriations chair, who has been a key supporter and advocate of NASA and the Wallops facility.”

Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. (a Democratic member of the Virginia State Senate, representing District 6), released the following statement:

“The announcement that the compromise spending Bill expected to be voted on and passed by Congress this week contains $20 million in Federal funding for repairs to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is great news. It clearly indicates the importance of our Wallops Island launch facility to the future of commercial space launches.

I want to thank Senator Warner, Senator Kaine and Congressman Rigell for all of their hard work to include this funding in the compromise Bill.

This is especially good news in light of Orbital’s announcement earlier this week that while it must launch from Cape Canaveral until the Wallops Island launch facility is repaired, they fully intend to resume launches at Wallops with their new engine in 2016.,

I will continue to work in the General Assembly to make Virginia a leader in commercial space launches.”

 

 

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).

Orbital Sciences announces date for ISS Commercial Resupply Services Mission (Orb-3) Launch

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Launch Date: No Earlier Than October 20, 2014
Launch Site: MARS Pad 0A at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA

 

IMG_6716-MOTION

Information provided by Orbital Sciences Corporation:

Mission Overview

Designated the “Orb-3” or “#ORB3” for Twitter, it will be the fourth Orbital Science “Cygnus cargo mission” to the ISS and the fifth Antares launch in the last 18 months. A two-stage Antares rocket carrying Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to lift-off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia on Pad-0A.  The current schedule is for “no earlier than October 20, 2014” with a targeted launch time for the 20th of 9:29 pm (EST) reaching the International Space Station (ISS) approximately 3 days later. After separation from Antares, the Cygnus spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and undergo initial check-out. The spacecraft will bring itself within 4 km (about 2.5 miles) of the ISS prior to receiving authorization to autonomously rendezvous with the station. When the vehicle approaches to within 12 meters (about 50 ft), the ISS will use it’s robotic arm to grapple Cygnus and berth it to the Harmony node of the station. Cygnus is planned to remain connect to the ISS for approximately five weeks during while the station crew unloads supplies and reloads it with materials for disposal. After Cygnus departs the station, it will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere. For this mission Cygnus will carry approximately 2,290 kg (5,050 lbs.) of cargo to the ISS for NASA.

Viewing the Launch

The Orb-3 launch will be viable from much of the east coast on the US and  will be broadcast live on NASA TV. .

For more information:

Orbital Antares Web Page
Orbital Antares Fact Sheet
Orbital Cygnus Fact Sheet
Orbital COTS/CRS Fact Sheet
NASA Commercial Space Transportation Web Site

NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

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September 21, 2014

 – NASA news release –

Credit: NASA
  A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon cargo spacecraft on top launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-40 in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT, Sept. 21, 2014. The Dragon is carrying more than 5,000 pounds of supplies, science experiments, and technology demonstrations includes critical materials to support 255 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 41 and 42.

Image Credit: NASA Television

 

About 5,000 pounds of NASA science investigations and cargo are on their way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The cargo ship launched on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21.

The mission is the company’s fourth cargo delivery flight to the space station through a $1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon’s cargo will support experiments to be conducted by the crews of space station Expeditions 41 and 42.

One of the new Earth science investigations heading to the orbital laboratory is the International Space Station-Rapid Scatterometer. ISS-RapidScat monitors ocean winds from the vantage point of the space station. This space-based scatterometer is a remote sensing instrument that uses radar pulses reflected from the ocean’s surface from different angles to calculate surface wind speed and direction. This information will be useful for weather forecasting and hurricane monitoring.

Dragon also will deliver the first-ever 3-D printer in space. The technology enables parts to be manufactured quickly and cheaply in space, instead of waiting for the next cargo resupply vehicle delivery. The research team also will gain valuable insight into improving 3-D printing technology on Earth by demonstrating it in microgravity.

New biomedical hardware launched aboard the spacecraft will help facilitate prolonged biological studies in microgravity. The Rodent Research Hardware and Operations Validation (Rodent Research-1) investigation provides a platform for long-duration rodent experiments in space. These investigations examine how microgravity affects animals, providing information relevant to human spaceflight, discoveries in basic biology and knowledge that may have direct impact toward human health on Earth.

The Dragon spacecraft will also transport other biological research, include a new plant study. The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) hardware has supported a variety of plant growth experiments aboard the space station. The BRIC-19 investigation will focus on the growth and development in microgravity of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, a small flowering plant related to cabbage. Because plant development on Earth is impacted by mechanical forces such as wind or a plant’s own weight, researchers hope to improve understanding of how the growth responses of plants are altered by the absence of these forces when grown in microgravity.

Dragon is scheduled to be grappled at 7:04 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, by Expedition 41 Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, using the space station’s robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft. NASA’s Reid Wiseman will support Gerst in a backup position. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in mid-October for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California, bringing from the space station almost 3,200 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.

The space station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. NASA recently awarded contracts to SpaceX and The Boeing Company to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station with the goal of certifying those transportation systems in 2017.

Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov

Dan Huot
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
daniel.g.huot@nasa.gov

 

We have lift off! Obr-2 is headed for a linkup with the ISS.

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Orbital Sciences launched July 13, 2014 after more then a month delay. It launched at the opening of it’s 5 minute window at 12:52 local time (16:52 UTC) from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Click to see full video
Lift Off!!

The Antares rocket with their third Cygnus spacecraft is a commercial resupply mission headed for the International Space Station with some much anticipated food and supplies. IMG_6650-MOTIONIMG_6744-MOTION

 

We have a “GO” for launch (Sunday July 13, 12:52pm EDT)

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At a Launch Readiness Review Saturday, managers for Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia, and NASA gave a “go” to proceed toward the Sunday, July 13 launch of the Orb-2 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Orbital is targeting a 12:52 p.m. EDT launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at noon.

There is a 90 percent chance of favorable weather at the time of launch.

NASA TV will broadcast a prelaunch news briefing today from the Wallops visitors center at 4:30 p.m. The briefing will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency’s website at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

For more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orbital and http://www.nasa.gov/station.