Mission: Orbital Sciences Corp Cygnus Cargo Flight for ISS / ORB-3
Rocket: Orbital’s Antares
Current Status: Go
Launch Date: Monday, 27 Oct. 2014 22:45 UTC / 18:45 EDT
Alternate Dates: 28 to 30 Oct.
Odds of Launch: Unknown numerics but the forecast looks great.
Monday: Sunny, with a high near 65oF / 19oC. West wind around 11 mph. (about 9 to 10 knots)
Some areas along the US East Coast might get a glimpse of the launch. Check the maps here.
Flight notes (from Orbital Sciences):
The ORB-3 Cygnus spacecraft is named the S.S. Deke Slayton, in honor of the late NASA astronaut Donald “Deke” Slayton.
The Orb-3 mission represents the fifth launch of the company’s Antares rocket in its first 18 months of operations. It will also be the fourth cargo delivery mission to the ISS by a Cygnus spacecraft, including the 2013 demonstration flight. For Orb-3, Orbital will deliver its largest load of cargo to date, carrying approximately 5,050 pounds (2,290 kilograms) of cargo to the ISS for NASA. At the conclusion of the Orb-3 mission, the company will have carried a total of 13,378 pounds (6,078 kilograms) of essential supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to the ISS and will have removed 13,444 pounds (6,097 kilograms) of disposal cargo, a vital capability for the maintenance and operation of the Station.
After separation from Antares, Cygnus will deploy its solar arrays and undergo initial check-out. The spacecraft will conduct a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit to bring it within 4 km of the ISS prior to receiving authorization to autonomously rendezvous with the station. When the vehicle approaches to within 12 meters, the astronauts will use the station’s robotic arm to grapple Cygnus and berth it to the Harmony node of the station. Cygnus is planned to remain berthed at the ISS for approximately five weeks during which time the station crew will load Cygnus with materials for disposal. At the end of the mission Cygnus will depart the station and reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.