The Orbital ATK Antares rocket is ready for launch on the Horizontal Integration Facility at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
A Cygnus cargo spacecraft will blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) this Saturday (Nov. 11) to ship provides and a few fascinating science experiments to the Expedition 53 crew.
The business spaceflight firm Orbital ATK will launch Cygnus from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, at 7:37 a.m. EST (1237 GMT). This mission, titled OA-Eight, will probably be Orbital ATK’s second cargo resupply mission to launch on an Antares rocket since a earlier cargo launch resulted in a fiery explosion in 2014.
Before Antares blasts off (if all goes based on plan), NASA will broadcast dwell briefings to debate the mission, in addition to the a number of science experiments and new know-how demonstrations, starting this Friday (Nov. 10) at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT). You can watch the briefings and the launch dwell on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
Packed inside this Cygnus cargo craft are greater than 7,700 lbs. (three,500 kilograms) of meals, clothes, and different provides for the ISS crew. Also hitching a experience on Cygnus will probably be batches of dwell micro organism comparable to Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus, mealworms, microclover seeds and another fauna that the Expedition 53 crew will use to review methods to enhance life on Earth.
Having E. coli aboard the area station could not appear excellent for the folks dwelling within the orbiting laboratory, however these spacefaring micro organism will badist researchers examine antibiotic resistance. “The E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) mission will investigate space microgravity effects on the antibiotic resistance of E. coli, a bacterial pathogen responsible for urinary tract infection in humans and animals,” NASA officers mentioned in a press release.
The different kind of micro organism flying on Cygnus, Staphylococcus aureus, is a standard pathogen that’s answerable for quite a lot of infections, starting from minor pores and skin situations comparable to pimples and folliculitis to harmful antibiotic-resistant staph infections. The STaARS BioScience-5 experiment “examines microgravity-induced molecular alterations that trigger S. aureus to vary shade from its regular gold to clear and that trigger the micro organism to lose pathogenicity [the ability to cause disease],” NASA officers mentioned. “By elucidating the mechanisms inside S. aureus that change throughout development in microgravity, this badysis may to result in drug discovery and new therapies.”
Other biology experiments heading to the ISS will examine the results of microgravity on the expansion of crops and bugs. One will look at the small flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, whereas one other will examine the position of nitrogen within the development of microclover, a drought-tolerant species of legume. Yet one other experiment will examine how microgravity impacts the life cycle of a kind of mealworm often known as Tenebrio molitor.
Some bizarre new applied sciences can even head to the area station with Saturday’s cargo launch to bear testing in area. One of those tasks, the Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD), will take a look at a brand new laser-based communication system utilizing tiny satellites referred to as cubesats. Each cubesat measures about four inches by four inches by 6.7 inches (10 by 10 by 17 centimeters) and weighs 5 lbs. (2.three kg).
“The optical communications system on OCSD differs from other space-based laser communication systems because the laser is hard-mounted to the spacecraft body,” NASA officers mentioned in a press release. “The beam is pointed by controlling the orientation of the entire spacecraft.” This makes the laser system way more compact than something beforehand flown in area, based on NASA.
One of the weirder know-how demonstrations flying to the ISS on Saturday, PropCube-Fauna, will examine how satellites can benefit from subject surrounding Earth’s ambiance to enhance communications methods. “PropCube-Fauna performs high-resolution measurements on the exact position, density and potential vibration of this field to transmit signals in a more effective manner,” NASA officers mentioned.
Other know-how demonstrations flying on Cygnus embrace the Cost-Effective High E-Frequency Satellite (CHEFSat), which is able to put together a brand new “consumer-grade radio frequency device for wider space use by testing its safety and effectiveness in a working CubeSat” that will probably be deployed from the ISS, NASA officers mentioned. The NanoRacks-Lemur-2 demonstration will take a look at out a brand new solution to observe oceangoing ships and monitor the climate with extra cubesats deployed from the ISS.
And final however not least is one significantly distinctive piece of cargo: a virtual-reality digital camera that may shoot video in 3D and 360 levels. European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli will use this digital camera to movie across the inside the ISS for National Geographic’s upcoming tv sequence “One Strange Rock.”
“The idea is to use all of that footage to document a day in the life on the space station,” Matt Zymet, government director for superior codecs at National Geographic, mentioned throughout a teleconference. Nespoli’s footage will function a “virtual-reality companion” to the brand new sequence, Zymet mentioned. “One Strange Rock” is slated to debut on the National Geographic Channel in 2018.