East Coasters would possibly be capable to spot Orbital ATK’s rocket launch this weekend

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Tomorrow morning, personal spaceflight firm Orbital ATK will get again to resupplying the International Space Station for NASA, sending up 7,400 kilos of provides inside its Cygnus cargo capsule. And for this launch, the corporate is utilizing its personal rocket, the Antares, which hasn’t seen any motion since final yr. The Antares will likely be taking off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and people residing alongside the East Coast could possibly get a glimpse of the car after takeoff.

If profitable, it’ll be the eighth flight to the ISS for Orbital ATK and the second the corporate has carried out this yr. The firm’s first mission in April didn’t launch on the Antares, however on prime of an Atlas V rocket manufactured by the United Launch Alliance. Last yr, NASA had requested Orbital to make use of the Atlas V as a substitute for the mission, as a result of the rocket can carry extra weight into orbit. At the time, NASA had been fearful that its different business resupplier, SpaceX, won’t be obtainable for resupply missions after grounding its flights within the wake of a failure.

But now, resupply missions have been working easily once more, and the ISS is absolutely stocked by way of mid-summer. Orbital will likely be utilizing its Antares tomorrow to deliver much more provides and science experiments to the six-person crew on the area station. Some of these objects embody an experiment to check out antibiotic resistance in microgravity, in addition to an experimental hybrid photo voltaic panel that doubles as a communication antenna.


A map of the visibility for the Orbital ATK launch.
Image: NASA

The launch is scheduled for 7:37AM ET, and it’s speculated to be a very chilly day (doubtlessly nearly chilly sufficient to be a difficulty). Orbital says the Antares can’t launch under temperatures of 20 levels Fahrenheit, and tomorrow is meant to be between 25 and 30 levels Fahrenheit. If the climate situations are clear as anticipated, these residing alongside the East Coast could possibly see the launch if the rising Sun doesn’t get in the way in which. NASA launched the map above to point out precisely when the rocket may be seen alongside the coast.

It ought to solely take 9 minutes to get the Cygnus to orbit, and the capsule will attain the ISS on Monday. NASA’s protection of the occasion begins at 7AM ET. Check again then to look at the launch reside.

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