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Update: NASA and Northrop Grumman are now targeting Friday night (Oct. 2) for the launch of the Cygnus NG-14 mission atop its Antares rocket. Liftoff is set for 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT), pending the resolution of tonight’s launch abort.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship carrying nearly 4 tons of NASA cargo will launch toward the International Space Station from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
A Northrop Grumman-built Antares rocket will launch the Cygnus spacecraft on the CRS-14 (or NG-14) mission from Pad OA at Wallops at 9:38 p.m. EDT (0138 GMT). The mission has been delayed from Sept. 29 due to bad weather. NASA’s webcast will begin at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT).
NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is targeting 9:38 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 1, for the launch of its 14th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Live coverage of the launch from Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events Monday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Oct. 1.
Loaded with nearly 8,000 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the company’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
The Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS Kalpana Chawla, will arrive at the space station Sunday, Oct. 4. Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA will grapple Cygnus and Flight Engineer Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos will act as a backup. After Cygnus capture, mission control in Houston will send ground commands for the station’s robotic arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Unity module. Cygnus is scheduled to remain at the space station until mid-December, when it will depart the station. Following departure, the Saffire-V experiment will be conducted prior to Cygnus deorbit and disposing of several tons of trash during a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere approximately two weeks later.
Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates, and opportunities normally received by on-site guests.
Thursday, Oct. 1
9 p.m. – Launch coverage begins
Sunday, Oct. 4
4:30 a.m. – Rendezvous coverage begins
6:10 a.m. – Capture of Cygnus with the space station’s robotic arm
8:30 a.m. – Cygnus installation operations coverage
Update: Just before launch today (Oct. 1), SpaceX’s Starlink launch scrubbed due to an issue with a ground sensor reading.
SpaceX will launch 60 new Starlink internet satellites Thursday (Oct. 1) in the company’s 13th mission dedicated to the space-based broadband megaconstellation and you can watch the launch live here. Liftoff is set for 9:17 a.m. EDT (1417 GMT).
A veteran Falcon 9 rocket will launch the mission, referred to as Starlink 12, from the historic Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX typically begins launch webcasts 10 minutes before liftoff.
You can watch the launch directly from SpaceX here.
The Falcon 9 rocket for this mission has launched twice before. On May 30, it launched the Demo-2 astronaut mission for NASA and the South Korean military satellite ANASIS-II in July.
SpaceX is targeting Thursday, October 1 at 9:17 a.m. EDT for a Falcon 9 launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s first flight to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts onboard and the ANASIS-II mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. One of Falcon 9’s fairing halves supported two previous Starlink launches.
The Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 1 hour and 1 minute after liftoff.
If you would like to receive updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area, please visit starlink.com.
Delayed: ULA Delta IV Heavy launching NROL-44 spy satellite
Update for Sept. 30, 11:59 p.m. EDT: Tonight’s launch attempt was scrubbed after the rocket’s Terminal Countdown Sequencer Rack detected an issue. A new launch target has not been announced.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office Wednesday night (Sept. 30).
The mission, titled NROL-44, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 11:54 p.m. EDT (0354 GMT on Oct. 1). Watch it live in the window above, courtesy of ULA.
Rocket: Delta IV Heavy
Mission: NROL-44 Launch
Date: Sun., Sept. 27, 2020
Launch Time: 12:10 a.m. EDT
Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Mission Information: A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Launch Notes: This will be 141st mission for United Launch Alliance and our 29th for the NRO. It is the 385th Delta launch since 1960, the 12th Delta IV Heavy and the 8th Heavy for the NRO.
Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch; hashtags #DeltaIVHeavy #NROL44
Friday, Oct. 2: SpaceX GPS satellite launch
SpaceX is now targeting a Friday, Oct. 2, to launch for its next GPS navigation satellite mission for the U.S. military. Liftoff is set for 9:43 p.m. EDT (0143 Oct. 3 GMT).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the GPS III SV04 satellite for the U.S. Space Force and Air Force from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
DELAYED: Blue Origin NS-13 Launch
Update for 12:18 am ET: Blue Origin has scrubbed Thursday’s launch attempt of the NS-13 New Shepard launch due to a payload power supply issue. A new launch date will be announced once available.
A Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft will launch on a suborbital flight today (Sept. 24) and you can watch it live here. Liftoff is set for 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) from Blue Origin’s West Texas test site.
This will be the 13th New Shepard flight for Blue Origin and the seventh flight for this specific space capsule and rocket. Blue Origin’s New Shepard is a reusable space capsule and booster designed to carry passengers on trips to suborbital space and back. Its booster returns to Earth to make a vertical landing while the capsule descends under parachutes for a land landing.
On this mission, called NG-13, New Shepard will carry 12 commercial payloads. Among them is the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration, a science payload mounted to the exterior of the booster to test technology for future NASA moon missions.
“The lunar landing sensor demo will test precision landing technologies for future missions to the Moon in support of the Artemis program,” Blue Origin wrote in an update. “The experiment will verify how these technologies (sensors, computers, and algorithms) work together to determine a spacecraft’s location and speed as it approaches the Moon, enabling a vehicle to land autonomously on the lunar surface within 100 meters of a designated point”
Blue Origin’s next New Shepard mission (NS-13) is currently targeting liftoff for Thursday, September 24, at 10:00 am CDT / 15:00 UTC. Current weather conditions are favorable. This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reusability.
New Shepard will fly 12 commercial payloads to space and back on this mission, including the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate under a Tipping Point partnership. This is the first payload to fly mounted on the exterior of a New Shepard booster rather than inside the capsule, opening the door to a wide range of future high-altitude sensing, sampling, and exposure payloads.
The lunar landing sensor demo will test precision landing technologies for future missions to the Moon in support of the Artemis program. The experiment will verify how these technologies (sensors, computers, and algorithms) work together to determine a spacecraft’s location and speed as it approaches the Moon, enabling a vehicle to land autonomously on the lunar surface within 100 meters of a designated point. The technologies could allow future missions—both crewed and robotic—to target landing sites that weren’t possible during the Apollo missions, such as regions with varied terrain near craters. Achieving high accuracy landing will enable long-term lunar exploration and future Mars missions.
This is the first of two flights to test these lunar landing technologies, increasing confidence for successful missions in the Artemis program. NS-13 is part of the risk reduction process to test these types of sensors for future missions.
New Shepard booster undergoing integration and testing of the sensor experiment at Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site.
As a part of NASA’s Artemis Human Landing System program, Blue Origin is also leading the National Team, comprised of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper, to develop a Human Landing System to return Americans to the lunar surface. The technology for the Blue Origin Descent Element that takes astronauts to the lunar surface is derived from the autonomous landing capabilities developed for the New Shepard program.
New Shepard has flown more than 100 payloads to space across 10 sequential flights. Payloads on board NS-13 include experiments from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, NASA Flight Opportunities, Space Lab Technologies, University of Florida, Space Environment Technologies, and mu Space Corp. A selection of the manifested payloads can be found below.
Also on board will be tens of thousands of postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit, Club for the Future, some of which will include a special NASA Artemis stamp.
All mission crew supporting this launch are exercising strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.
You can watch the launch live at BlueOrigin.com. The pre-show begins at T-30 minutes and will provide mission details, including a special update from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Follow @BlueOrigin on Twitter and Instagram for launch updates.
Postponed: The Explorers Club SpaceX Talk
Update for 7 pm ET: The Explorers Club’s virtual lecture “SpaceX – Makig Life Multiplanetary” has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. It will be rescheduled for a later date.
The Explorers Club will hold a virtual lecture on SpaceX and the future of multiplanetary exploration today (Sept. 14) at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT).
Hear from Paul Wooster, SpaceX’s principal moon & mars development engineer, and astronaut-turned-entrepreneur Richard Garriot de Cayeux.
You can watch the free lecture live on Explorers.org and Facebook Live.
Related: Elon Musk is still thinking big with SpaceX’s Starship Mars-colonizing rocket. Really big.
From The Explorers Club:
The Explorers Club today announced the next installment of its virtual public lecture series will focus on the study and leading research by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other governments across the world look to support space exploration with an ever-growing private space industry.
Featuring leading scholars and researchers, the online discussion scheduled for Monday, September 14, titled “SpaceX — Making Life Multiplanetary,” will include Paul Wooster, Principal Moon and Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX, where he is a lead in the technical development of deep space architecture and vehicles, including precursor activities and human-scale systems. The discussion will be hosted by Richard Garriott de Cayeux – an inventor, adventurer and entrepreneur who has served as a leading pioneer in the private space industry. Garriot de Cayeux, son of legendary scientist-astronaut Owen Garriott, became the first 2nd generation American astronaut in 2008, when he embarked on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station.
The lecture – streamed live on Explorers.org and Facebook Live – will touch on the development of space travel and the push to making it more accessible for all through leading private institutions like SpaceX and other commercial space companies.
7:00 pm, Monday, September 14
Viewable at Explorers.org and Facebook Live
Paul Wooster, Principal Moon & Mars Development Engineer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he is a lead in the technical development of deep space architecture and vehicles, including precursor activities and human-scale systems. He previously served as SpaceX’s Manager of Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control, overseeing the integrated system design, fault tolerance, and vehicle performance associated with Dragon missions to the International Space Station.
Richard Garriot de Cayeux, famed explorer, astronaut and entrepreneur who invented the massively multi-player online game (MMORPG) genre and term and coined the term “Avatar,” has also been integral in the private space industry. In 2008, he participated in flight to the International Space Station (ISS) via Russian rocket and spent 10 days via the International Space Station.
About The Explorers Club:
Since its inception in 1904, members of the Club have traversed the earth, the seas, the skies, and even the moon, on expeditions of exploration. First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean and first to the surface of the moon – all accomplished by Explorers Club Members. Notable members include Teddy Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, Edmund Hillary, John Glenn, Sally Ride and Bob Ballard.
‘ISS Live!’ Tune in to the space station
Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the “ISS Live” broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.
“Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During ‘loss of signal’ periods, viewers will see a blue screen.
“Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.”
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