Science

Fire alarm on Earth delays launch of Northrop Grumman payload to space station

A Northrop Grumman rocket carrying more than 4 tons of cargo for the International Space Station will have to wait at least another day for a launch after a fire alarm at its mission control center prevented an early Sunday (November 6) launch.

The Antares rocket was about 10 minutes away from its scheduled 5:50 am EST (1050 GMT) liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, when Northrop Grumman canceled the flight. A fire alarm at the company’s control center in nearby The Dalles, Va., caused the building to be evacuated, preventing launch controllers from completing the launch.

“We think of their team that their safety is paramount, so we’re going to try it again tomorrow,” NASA spokeswoman Chelsea Ballarte said during the live broadcast. Launch is now set for Monday, November 7 at 5:27 AM EST (1027 GMT). You can watch the Cygnus payload launch live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, starting at 5 am EST (1000 GMT).

Northrop Grumman will use its Antares rocket to launch the NG-18 Cygnus unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station on a mission to deliver more than 8,200 pounds (3,720 kg) of cargo to the lab’s astronaut crew. This is the 18th NASA Northrop Grumman cargo mission.

On the subject: Northrop Grumman’s Antares Private Rocket: 5 Surprising Facts

The upcoming launch is also Northrop Grumman’s heaviest delivery yet, with the company squeezing out about 44 pounds (20 kg) of extra materials due to launch system upgrades. Among its treasured cargoes are a bioprinter that will try to print human knee cartilage in space, and cow ovary cells to study how weightlessness affects cell growth.

If all goes well, the NG-18 Cygnus cargo ship, which was named SS Sally Ride after astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space who died in 2012, is due to arrive at the space station on Wednesday (November 2018). ten).
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