Northrop and NASA are all set to launch a Cygnus cargo capsule on Saturday, Feb 20th, filled with supplies and research to the International Space Station (ISS). At Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the flight will blast off from Pad 09A during a five-minute window planned at 12:36 p.m. EST.
An Antares two-stage rocket will haul the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit. Standing at 139 feet, it will kick-off a two-day voyage to the ISS. Cygnus cargo capsule will berth to the orbital outpost with the station’s robotic arm’s help after it arrives at the space station.
Northrop Grumman built both the Cygnus spacecraft and the Antares Rocket. It is one of the two companies delivering the cargo to ISS on behalf of NASA. On Feb 17th, both these were rolled out to the launch pad before Saturday’s launch.
The NG-15 is the 14th operational resupply launch mission for the Northman Grumman’s space station, as a part of the commercial resupply services contract with NASA. The tradition of naming the spacecraft after an individual who made vital contributions to the flight is being continued by Northrop Grumman.
The essential supplies and food for the astronauts on the space station and research loads are carried on these cargo ships. Cygnus cargo capsule will take approximately 8,200 lbs. of science experiments, supplies, and hardware for the space station’s Expedition 64 crew.
As a part of a student outreach program for Virginia’s Commercial Space Flight Authority, the spacecraft will also carry 30 CubeSats which will deploy shortly after launch.