What is NASA’s Cargo Resupply Launch?

Antares is a two-stage medium-lift launch vehicle developed by Northrop Grumman to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). 

Northrop Grumman states: “Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket is a two-stage vehicle with optional third stage that provides low-Earth orbit launch capability for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg. Today the rocket is primarily used to support the company’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.”

It is named after the constellation Antares, which is a red supergiant star. The first Antares launch took place in April 2013. Since then, Antares has launched 18 missions to the ISS, delivering more than 66,000 pounds of cargo till 2019. 

NASA’s next cargo resupply launch is scheduled for August 1, 2023, at 8: 31 P.M EDT. It will be NASA’s 19th resupply mission to the ISS. 

NASA states: “NASA and commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman are targeting 8:31 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Aug. 1, for the launch of the company’s 19th resupply mission to the International Space Station from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.”

The cargo load would be more than 8,200 pounds of supplies. The company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the Antares rocket from the Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Tuesday, August 1. The spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station on Friday, August 4. 

The cargo load will carry the following according to NASA: 

  • “The final iteration of a series of spacecraft fire protection experiments
  • A new potable water dispenser that provides hot water and improved sanitization
  • Neural cells that will be cultured into 3D cell models for gene therapy testing
  • A probe that measures plasma density of the upper atmosphere
  • A memory card that contains creative works from students around the world”

How to watch the launch? 

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NASA has mentioned that “the live launch coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.” It will begin at 8 P.M. 

The launch may be visible to people throughout the mid-Atlantic region and possibly the East Coast of the United States. This depends on the weather conditions and visibility. 

Source: NASA 

People can also experience the thrill of this rocket launch in person by visiting NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center. The Visitor Center will have special hours on launch day, opening at 5:30 p.m. EDT and closing at 9 p.m. EDT.

In conclusion, NASA’s resupply launches are critical to keeping the International Space Station (ISS) operational. The ISS is a vital research platform, and it relies on regular cargo resupply missions to keep it running.  NASA’s resupply launches are an exciting event, and they offer a unique opportunity to see the latest in rocket technology.

Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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