The Cygnus cargo ship launch to the International Space Station has been rescheduled again. You may remember in December the launch was delayed because of the cooling pump problem on the ISS which required a series of spacewalks to repair.
This time the delay is the weather, specifically cold temperatures causing the delay, but only for a day. The day/night temperatures for Tuesday are in the minus 5 to minus 10 C (22 to 16 F) range with freezing precipitation also expected. The low end of the temperature range acceptable for launch is minus 7 (20 F), So the weather is cutting it close and there is no compelling reason to rush things. It’s kind of nice they can just roll Antares in and out of storage “relatively” easily, quite efficient.
At the moment the launch is scheduled for 8 January at 18:32 UTC from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
This mission dubbed Orb-1 will be the first of eight resupply missions to be conducted by Orbital Sciences under a $1.9 billion contract with NASA. This time around Cygnus will be carrying approximately 1465 kg (3,230 lbs.) of cargo to the ISS.
The launch will be carried live by NASA-TV, you should be able to see the coverage at the NASA TV link at the top of the page.
Orbital also has a satellite being launched by SpaceX scheduled for later today. Launch time: 22:50 UTC. Coverage may be available here.
The satellite, the Thiacom 6 is a communications satellite that according to the Oribtal website will “carries a hybrid Ku- and C-band payload that will generate approximately 3.7 kilowatts of payload power. The Ku-band payload is comprised of eight active transponders that will provide services to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The C-band payload features 12 active C-band transponders that will provide services via a regional beam to Southeast Asia, and six active C-band transponders that will provide services via a south Africa beam to southern Africa and Madagascar.”