Launch Date: 03 December 2015 Launch Time: 23:00 UTC / 18:00 EST
The Orbital ATK Cygnus will lift off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida. The mission will be the first flight of the enhanced variant of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft, capable of delivering more than 7,700 pounds of essential crew supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to the station.
Science payloads include a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria, and other micro-organisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite to be deployed from the space station; experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids and clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel; and evaluations of flame-resistant textiles.
I’ll add a video link to this post before launch so if you want to watch you can come back about an hour before launch.
Four NASA-sponsored CubeSats and a NASA-funded CubeSat, were among thirteen small spacecraft launched from Southern California’s Vandenburg Air Force Base on Oct. 8.
The NASA-funded device will test how accurately a CubeSat can be pointed during high speed data transfer by laser. The NASA-sponsored CubeSats will test new control and communications systems, Earth observations, amateur radio communications and an X-Band radio science transponder.
There is a rocket launch from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virgina between 2300 and 0100 UTC (7 pm to 9 pm) and if you are in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US coast you may be able to see it. Hopefully for the rest of us there will be video coverage – I will post a link if there is live coverage, I should have it up by 2200 UTC
Approximately six minutes after launch, the sounding rocket will deploy four sub-payloads containing mixtures of barium and strontium will be released, creating a cloud that is blue-green and red in color.
Residents from Long Island, New York, 235 miles north of the launch site, to Morehead City, North Carolina, 232 miles south, 165 miles west in Charlottesville, Virginia — and everyone in between — could get a glimpse of the colorful evening launch.
Sounding rockets, also called suborbital rockets, are valuable tools in qualifying technologies for flight. During this suborbital flight, NASA will test a modified Black Brant sounding rocket motor, launch vehicle and spacecraft systems and sub-payload ejection technologies. – NASA