Status Report

Weather Forecast for Cygnus Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
May 20, 2018
Filed under , ,

The Range Control Center at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore has forecast 65-percent favorable weather for the May 21 launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops.

The main weather concerns for Monday’s launch attempt are sky screen (essentially local visibility conditions) and disturbed weather.

A cold front approaches from the northwest for this evening and early Monday morning. The southwesterly surface flow around the area of high pressure to the east will continue to provide a moist airmass over the Wallops region today and tonight.

A cold front will move through the Wallops region tonight, while a weak upper-level disturbance rides along the frontal boundary to provide a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms during the count. The cold front looks to push just south of the Wallops region by the launch window to end thunderstorm chances; however, a rain shower will still be possible in the area during the launch window.

Surface winds will become north to northeast by the launch window due to a weak area of high pressure briefly building into the Wallops region for Monday afternoon.

The Antares rocket, with Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft aboard is scheduled to launch no earlier than May 21 at 4:39 a.m. EDT on the company’s CRS-9 resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The mission is the company’s ninth contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Among the 7,400 pounds of cargo aboard Cygnus are science experiments, crew supplies and vehicle hardware.

SpaceRef staff editor.