Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket launches with its largest-ever cargo to the International Space Station
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., - On Wednesday, Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus spacecraft - along with approximately 7,600 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station - blasted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad on Wallops Island Va., at NASA flight facility. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the ISS around 5:30 a.m. EDT on April 19.
Expedition 59 astronauts Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Cygnus, while NASA’s Nick Hague monitors telemetry. The spacecraft will stay at the space station until July.
In addition, following the release of Cygnus, Antares performed another new capability, deploying secondary satellites for science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach programs. This included the NASA-sponsored 3U CubeSat called Student Aerothermal Spectrometer Satellite of Illinois and Indiana CubeSat (SASSI2) and 60 ThinSats sponsored by Virginia Space Flight Authority. These satellites were built by approximately 400 students in grades 4-12, from 70 schools located in nine states.
“This launch marks a new innovative capability for Antares and Cygnus, which enables a 24-hour late load of critical cargo,” said Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, flight systems, Northrop Grumman. “We are proud to partner with NASA to provide more commercial capabilities supporting their missions. Congratulations to the entire team on an excellent launch.”
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