The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the cargo ship Cignus NG-10 is on top of the fall-0A NASA Vallops Flight Facilitie on the island of Vallops, Virginia. It is planned to start on November 16, 2018.
Credit: Joel Kovski / NASA
The launch of the Northrop Grumman rocket, which is the next burden of NASA for flights at the International Space Station, was delayed for at least one Friday to Friday (November 15th) due to the bad weather expected to shoot at a launch site on the coastline of the mission in Virginia.
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket was due to begin a reckless cargo ship Cignus early on Thursday, but predictions predicted a 90 percent chance of a bad weather preventing flight, NASA officials said on November 14th. The launch is scheduled for early Friday at 4:23 AM EST (0923 GMT).
The Cignus spacecraft is loaded with 3,500 kilograms of fresh food, experimental equipment and other resources for the three-compartment team of the 57th Space Station expedition. [The Strange Science Riding on the Cygnus Spacecraft]
"We have a ready-to-go missile, a space shuttle ready for departure, but as most of you have heard, time will require a 24-hour delay," said Joel Montalbano, deputy program manager for NASA's International Space Station, at a preliminary briefing today.
The major launching problems are dense, low clouds and storm weather, including lightning, NASA officials said. The storm must also pose a risk of launching auxiliary personnel in offshore ships, they added. Weather conditions for launch were improved on Friday, and forecasts predict a 65 percent chance for a good time period for the flight. By Saturday, those good weather forecasts increase to more than 95 percent chance of good conditions.
A one-day delay in launching for Antares and Cignus puts traffic jams on the International Space Station.
About seven o'clock after the launch of Cignus, the Russian Soyuz rocket should launch another robotic cargo ship, progress 71, to the station at 14:14 p.m. EST (1814 GMT) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Like Cignus, this cargo ship will also arrive in the space station on Sunday. Advanced vehicles can be attached to the space station, while the Cignus spacecraft must capture the astronaut using a robotic arm.
Having two different cargo vessels that arrive at the space station on the same day will lead to a busy time for the astronauts, but Montalbano has said there is enough space in the crew schedule for both arrivals.
"We talked to the crew about it," Montalbano said. "As for the schedule, because the schedules are 19 hours, we do not see any problems." Dual arrival will require some adjustments to the station's station schedule, but nothing, he added.
The crew of the expedition 57 missed two people after a Russian missile Soiuz, carrying two crews, failed to realize its orbit in October. Two crew members on that flight, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin, made an emergency landing and were unharmed. Russian space agency Roscosmos was monitoring the launch of a defective sensor.
The new Soyuz rocket will open three more crew members on December 3 to expedition 57 to the space station.
Here you can watch the rocket of Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket, starting at 4:15 AM EST (0915 GMT), thanks to NASA TV.