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
Sony reaches agreement with former employees over hack
Sony Pictures has reached an undisclosed agreement in principle with eight former employees who had sued over inadequate protection of their personal data during last year's major hack against the studio....
Killer T-cell therapy shows promise against leukemia
A cancer-killing therapy that engineers a patient's own immune cells to wipe out chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL......
Samsung unveils new smartwatch to challenge Apple Watch
Samsung unveiled its latest smartwatch on Tuesday as the South Korean tech giant seeks to challenge Apple's global domination in the fast-growing wearable device market....
Google changes logo to better suit mobile devices
Google on Tuesday refreshed its logo to better suit mobile devices that are supplanting desktop computers when it comes to modern Internet lifestyles....
Alcatel-Lucent chief defends 14-mn-euro payout
The head of telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent rejected government pressure Monday to renounce bonuses which could see him receive around 14 million euros ($15.7 million) as part of its buyout by rival Nokia....
Apple partners to boost business use of iPads-iPhones
Apple and computer network titan Cisco on Monday announced a partnership aimed at putting more iPhones and iPads to work at businesses....
Are poor parliamentary debates a result of removal of school debates?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter