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Orbital Sciences Antares ORB-D Launch Thread


Mr Shifty
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OSC's demonstration flight of their Cygnus cargo vessel to the International Space Station is set to launch on Wednesday (9/18) at 10:50am local (EDT), depending on weather. This will be the second flight of the Antares rocket which uses modified NK-33 engines from the failed Soviet N-1 program for its first stage.

The ISS on orbit status report for the last few days has shown that preparations for communicating with and grappling the Cygnus Demo as it arrives are satisfactory and present no obstacle to launch. If this mission is successful, Orbital will be certified to do commercial re-supply missions to the ISS (like SpaceX.)

Info here:

http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/orbitals-antares-loft-cygnus-debut-mission-iss/

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/antares-rolled-wallops-pad-ahead-orb-d-mission/

http://www.spaceflight101.com/antares---cygnus-orb-d-mission-updates.html

Countdown timeline here:

http://www.spaceflight101.com/antares-countdown-timeline.html

Launch video:

Edited by Mr Shifty
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Launch at 10:50 EDT. (The only locations that use EST in the summer are the Cayman Islands and Southhampton Island in the far north of Hudson Bay.)

Here is a great long-form article from NSF with lots of details about the Cygnus, what it's carrying, Antares, the launch pad, and launch and ISS rendezvous profiles.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/orbitals-antares-loft-cygnus-debut-mission-iss/

Here's a great timelapse video of the Antares roll-out:

Edited by Mr Shifty
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That was a cool video Shifty. So is this thing launching at 10:50 or 9:50? Every article tells me something different. I cannot wait for this thing to go up. Hopefully no problems. My camera is ready. Im so grateful to be able to see these as plain as day from my backyard.

Edited by Motokid600
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Looks like September 24-26th will be very busy for the ISS. The Soyuz TMA-10M launch of Expedition 37 to the ISS is on September 25th. Soyuz does a 6 hour rendezvous; Cygnus is supposed to take 6 days and complete 10 demonstration objectives before being allowed to approach the ISS.

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