Status Report

Antares Launch Scheduled for No Earlier Than Jan. 7

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2013
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Antares Launch Scheduled for No Earlier Than Jan. 7
NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. have established a new “no earlier than” (NET) launch date of Tuesday, Jan. 7, for the Orbital-1 CRS cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. A launch on Jan. 7 within the targeted window of 1:55 to 2:00 p.m. EST would result in a grapple and berthing at the space station in the early morning hours of Jan. 10. The launch date will continue to be evaluated as NASA proceeds with three upcoming spacewalks by the Expedition 38 crew to replace a cooling pump aboard the orbiting complex.
Following the postponement of the originally targeted Dec. 19 launch, Orbital’s Antares team rolled the rocket off the launch pad and back to the Horizontal Integration Facility yesterday at Wallops. The time sensitive payloads that were on Cygnus are being removed today. They will be “refreshed” by the payload provider and returned for reloading into Cygnus. That operation would take place on Jan. 3. Rollout to the launch pad would occur on Jan. 4 to meet a Jan. 7 launch.
A conflict with a previously scheduled operation on the Wallops range has been resolved to allow the Antares launch to be proceed earlier than was originally thought possible after the decision was made to postpone the Dec. 19 launch attempt.

SpaceRef staff editor.