International Space Station Resupply Rocket Launch Delayed By 24 Hours
The Orbital ATK Antares rocket will now travel to the International Space Station on Monday, 24 hours after the scheduled October 16 launch was aborted due to issues with ground support equipment or GSE.
According to International Business Times, the launch will now commence on October 17 at 7:40 p.m. EDT (2340 GMT) from Pad-0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. The reason for the aborted launch was a faulty support cable which "did not perform as expected" according to a Tweet by the official ISS account.
The Antares will be carrying a Cygnus spacecraft which will come in contact with the ISS this Wednesday. The purpose of the mission is to bring supplies to the current ISS crew composed of Commander Anatoly Ivanishin, Kate Rubins, and Takuya Onishi. The three were launched to space on July 6 replacing Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko who returned to Earth last June 18 after 186 days in space.
In a statement released by Orbital ATK, they explained that, "after being launched into low-Earth orbit, the Cygnus spacecraft will use its advanced maneuvering capability to transport the cargo from a low parking orbit to the space station, where it will be grappled by the crew using the station's robotic arm and berthed to the space station."
The Monday launch comes two years after the failed launch of another Orbital ATK Antares. On October 28, 2014, the space rocket exploded right on takeoff. According to a report, the cost of the damage was at least $15 million and that the explosion originated in the turbo pump.
Despite the setback, Orbital ATK was still able to send supplies to the ISS using rockets from another company in Florida.
The launch can be seen along the US East Coast.
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