Nasty Weather Nixes Northrop Grumman Antares Nov. 15 Launch to Space Station Now NET Nov 16: Photos


Oceanside view of Northrop
Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter  aboard bound for the International Space
Station, is seen on Pad-0A, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia. Poor weather forced launch postponement to No Earlier Than NET Friday, Nov, 16, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Ken Kremer SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM –14
November 2018



NASA
WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, VA – Nasty weather prospects have nixed the scheduled Thursday,
Nov. 15 launch of the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket with the Cygnus NG-10
cargo ship aboard bound for the International Space Station (ISS) – forcing NASA
and company officials to attempt liftoff No
Earlier Than NET Friday, Nov. 16 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s
Eastern Shore
. And it could easily delay further given the horrible weather situation.



“The launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket with the Cygnus
cargo spacecraft has been postponed due to the poor weather forecast for the
original launch window on Nov. 15,” Joel Montalbano, ISS Program deputy manager
at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, announced at today’s (Nov. 14) prelaunch briefing
at NASA Wallops. 



“The revised launch window now opens at 4:23 a.m. EST on Nov. 16
from Pad 0A of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located
at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.



With
chances for Thursdays launch plunging to less than 10% favorable, the NASA-contractor
team opted to preemptively postpone Antares launch by at least 24 hours to Friday.
 



This saves
the team the tremendous time, effort and cost of preparing and fueling the
rocket for naught, so that the team will be well rested for whenever the
weather improves sufficiently.
 

But the
outlook for Friday is also poor – rising only somewhat to 45% favorable as heavy
rains and strong winds sweep through Wallops.
 
Weather has
been miserable all week on the US East coast and weather prospects deteriorated
all week, so the launch postponement is not at all surprising. 

Ponds surround Northrop Grumman
Antares rocket after days of rain, with Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter  aboard bound for the International Space
Station, is seen on Pad-0A, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia. Poor weather forced launch postponement to No Earlier Than
NET Friday, Nov, 16, 2018.
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

In anticipation
of a launch, Northrop Grumman workers rolled Antares to the launch pad late Monday
night, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Horizontal Integration Facility
(HIF) to pad 0A at Wallops. 


Northrop Grumman Antares NG-10 commercial rocket
being processed inside
Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  Launch slated for Nov. 16, 2018 from pad
0A
at NASA Wallops bound for the ISS.  Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

“The move
was completed in a driving rain storm,” said Frank DeMauro, Northrop Grumman VP
for Human Spaceflight at today’s prelaunch briefing.  


Northrop Grumman Antares rocket,
with Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter  aboard
bound for the International Space Station, raised erect on Pad-0A, Wednesday,
Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Poor weather
forced launch postponement to No Earlier Than NET Friday, Nov, 16, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The 139.4
foot (42.5 m) long Antares rocket was raised erected at pad OA by around 5  a.m. EST.  


Ponds surround Northrop Grumman
Antares rocket after days of rain, with Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter  aboard bound for the International Space
Station, is seen on Pad-0A, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia. Poor weather forced launch postponement to No Earlier Than
NET Friday, Nov, 16, 2018.
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

“Today’s Wallops range forecast for Nov. 15
assessed weather conditions at 90-percent unfavorable for a launch, with the
main concerns being thick clouds, disturbed weather and low cloud ceilings.
Heavy rainfall (1-2 inches) and high wind gusts (45-50 mph) are expected,” NASA
added in a statement.

“Rainfall looks to taper off early Friday
morning, but strong northwesterly winds are still expected to affect the
Eastern Shore during Friday’s backup count and launch window. Winds are
expected to be sustained at 25-30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Sea states will
also be of concern with the prolonged high wind event: Seas are expected to be
8-12 feet during Friday morning’s count and slightly falling off to 8-10 feet
during the launch window.”



Weather prospect improves dramatically by the
weekend as chances on Saturday rise to about 95% favorable and 90% on Sunday.



However the approaching storm may also impact the
Bermuda Tracking Station with heavy rains and winds and negatively impact its
ability to track the launch- thus forcing another preemptive postponement.



“Conditions look to become quite favorable for
a launch Saturday morning with high pressure building into the southeastern
U.S. and the Eastern Shore, providing lighter winds and mostly clear to clear
skies. One caveat to Saturday however, is that the system expected to impact
the Wallops region Thursday will drag a strong front across Bermuda on Friday
into early Saturday, providing potentially heavy rainfall and strong winds
there prior to the launch window. At this time, conditions do look to improve
enough in
Bermuda prior to the expected T-0 Saturday morning with winds diminishing and
light rainfall lingering,” said NASA.



“Weather in Bermuda is a factor because NASA’s Bermuda Tracking Station supports
tracking, telemetry, command and control of launches from both Wallops and
Florida.”



Thus Sunday might be the best chance for a
launch- but its still TBD at this time. 

Technicians work at base of
Antares rocket raised at pad 0A atop launch mount and above flame trench at NASA’s
Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch set for No Earlier Than NET Friday,
Nov, 16, 2018 after weather delay.
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The
rocket is ready to launch when the weather cooperates.



“The
combined systems test of the rocket, payload, and range was completed, said Kurt
Eberly, Antares program manager VP at Northrop Grumman. 



The countdown
starts at T Minus 6 hours 15 minutes before liftoff.  Fueling begins at T Minus 1.6 hours.



Wide view of Cygnus spaceship for NG-10 resupply flight during media day inside Northrop
Grumman
 cleanroom
processing facility at 
NASA’s
Wallops Flight Facility, VA. Named
in honor of 
Apollo 16 moonwalker
John Young by former astronaut Rick Mastracchio. Cygnus slated for launch
with 3.7 tons cargo to ISS for NASA on Nov. 15, 2018 atop Antares
rocket. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Whenever Cygnus does fly this will be NASA’s 5
cargo resupply mission of 2018 and 1 more is also planned by SpaceX on NET Dec.
4, said Montelbano. 







Cygnus NG-10 will remain at the station for
approximately 3 months. 

Northrop Grumman built Cygnus NG-10 cargo spacecraft
is prepped inside darkened clean room High Bay facility at NASA Wallops with
range finding lights illuminated to aid station astronauts verify the correct
attitude and position on approach in space. 
It was named in honor of NASA astronaut and Apollo 16 moonwalker John
Young on Oct. 24, 2018.  Blastoff on Antares rocket is slated for Nov. 15, 2018
from pad 0A
at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia bound for the
International Space Station.
  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The Cygnus NG-10 cargo freighter, built by Northrop Grumman
Corporation, was christened the ‘S.S. John Young’ – in memory of John Young who
was NASA’s longest serving astronaut and passed away earlier this year in
January at age 87.

The S.S. John Young cargo resupply freighter is jam packed and will
deliver nearly 4 tons of research experiments and station hardware and crew
supplies to the trio of astronauts and cosmonauts living aboard the orbiting
science outpost after blastoff atop the 2 stage Antares 230 version rocket.
NG-10 counts as Northrop Grumman’s 10th station
resupply cargo mission for NASA.
Among the research items on board will be the first integrated 3D printer and
recycler
and ref
abricator to aid NASA’s Deep Space
exploration efforts.
“It will turn waste plastic materials aboard the station
into high-quality 3D-printer filament to create tools and materials, a key
capability for future long-duration space missions beyond low-Earth orbit,”
according to NASA.



Cygnus will be loaded with cargo up to 3,350 kg (7,385 lb.)
comprising science experiments, research gear,
food, water, spare parts, crew supplies and vehicle hardware
to support the Expedition 57 and 58 crews.



Cygnus will deliver
vital equipment, supplies and scientific equipment to the space station as part
of Northrop Grumman’s Commercial Resupply Services-1 (CRS-1) contract with NASA
– totaling 11 cargo flights.



“NG-10 is the next to
last followed by NG-11 next spring under the CRS-1 contract,” said Eberly. 



“Northrop Grumman also
has been awarded the follow-on CRS-2 contract from NASA comprising at least 6
more cargo missions.”



To date, Cygnus
spacecraft have delivered more than 23,000 kilograms of cargo to the
International Space Station, and removed 17,000 kilograms of disposable
cargo. 



The
prior Cygnus cargo freighter was successfully launched by an Antares 230
vehicle from Wallops on May 21, 2018 on the Orbital ATK OA-9 resupply mission
for NASA before the company merged with Northrop Grumman.
Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center,
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility,
Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science
and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research
scientist and journalist based in the KSC area.
………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Former NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Ken Kremer/Space UpClose give 2 thumbs
up inside NASA Wallops cleanroom for
Northrop Grumman built Cygnus NG-10
cargo spacecraft named in honor of honor NASA astronaut and Apollo 16
moonwalker John Young on Oct. 24, 2018. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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