Science & technology
Orbital poised to launch cargo ship to ISS
Publish Date: Jul 13, 2014
Orbital poised to launch cargo ship to ISS
The Antares will launch with the Cygnus spacecraft filled with over 3,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. AFP Photo/NASA
  • mail
  • img
newvision

ORBITAL Sciences Corporation is poised to launch on Sunday its unmanned Cygnus cargo ship packed with more than 3,000 pounds of supplies for astronauts at the International Space Station.

The liftoff is scheduled for 12:52 pm (1652 GMT) aboard an Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia.

The mission, named Orb-2, is the second official trip for Orbital's cargo carrier, and is one of eight journeys the company has contracted with NASA.

Orb-2 was initially supposed to launch in May, but a Russian-built rocket engine in the Antares rocket failed during a prelaunch test, delaying the mission.

Cygnus will carry some 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilos) of cargo to the station, including food and supplies for the crew, scientific experiments, and a pump for the Japanese module to replace one that failed.

If launch goes as planned, the Cygnus should arrive at the orbiting outpost on Wednesday, July 16.

The weather forecast was 90 percent favorable for takeoff.

Coverage of the launch begins on NASA television at noon (1600 GMT).

Orbital Sciences and SpaceX are the two private US companies that have won billion-dollar contracts with NASA for multiple missions to carry supplies to the International Space Station.

This picture provided by NASA shows the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, at sunrise on July 12, 2014 on launch Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. AFP Photo/NASA

NASA lost its capacity to reach the space station after the 30-year space shuttle program ended in 2011.

SpaceX and Orbital now make regular resupply journeys with their unmanned cargo ships. Europe and Russia also have their own spaceships that can tote equipment and provisions to the research outpost.

In order for astronauts to get there, nations must buy seats aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, at a cost of $70.7 million each. The spaceship carries three people at a time.

Several American companies are competing to be the first to complete a crew vehicle that will restore US access to the station in the next few years.

Orbital's cargo ships burn up on reentry into Earth's atmosphere, unlike SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which makes an intact splash landing in the ocean.

Orb-3 is scheduled to launch in November, and three more Cygnus missions are planned for 2015.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
$100 mn Ebola pledge from Microsoft co-founder Allen
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen said he was boosting his donations to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to $100 million....
Toyota shares rise on record profit report
Shares in Japanese auto giant Toyota advanced in Tokyo trade on Friday following a report it is set to book a record operating profit in the six-month period to September....
Lufthansa close to deal with IBM for IT infrastructure unit
German airline Lufthansa is close to a deal to sell its IT infrastructure unit to IBM, including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a shake-up of its technology activities, it said on Wednesday....
Google launches new email service dubbed
Google has launched an email service called "Inbox" on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way....
Microsoft ditching the Nokia brand
MICROSOFT is ditching the Nokia brand name from new devices, less than a year after acquiring the Finnish mobile firm...
Apple CEO meets Chinese official amid iCloud hacking row
Apple CEO Tim Cook met a senior Chinese official Wednesday, days after hackers targeted the company's iCloud service in an attack which an anti-censorship group claims originated in China....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter