Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft.
Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., rolled out its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
The Antares is scheduled to launch Cygnus at 11:16 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 17 on a demonstration cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Cygnus will deliver about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including food and clothing, to the Expedition 37 crew aboard the space station, who will capture and install the spacecraft on Sept. 22 using the station's robotic arm. Orbital is building and testing its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Following a successful demonstration mission, Orbital is poised to begin eight cargo flights contracted by NASA to resupply the station. Future flights of Cygnus will significantly increase NASA's ability to deliver new science investigations to the nation's only laboratory in microgravity.