WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. – The Wallops Island launch of an Antares rocket carrying Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft on a resupply mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore happened on Monday night.
The launch was originally scheduled for Friday night, but the agency was preparing for Tropical Storm Nicole at its tracking site in Bermuda.
The launch then moved to Sunday night, but was postponed for a second time due to a ground support cable that didn’t perform as expected during a pre-launch check.
The was the first launch to the ISS from Wallops Island since October 2014, when an Antares rocket exploded just six seconds after launching from Launch Pad – 0A at Wallops.
The Cygnus spacecraft will carry approximately 5,290 pounds of supplies and science experiments to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Cygnus will also carry the Saffire II payload experiment to study combustion behavior in microgravity. In addition, a NanoRack deployer will release Spire Cubesats used for weather forecasting. These secondary payload operations will be conducted after Cygnus departs the space station.
The launch was originally scheduled to take place in July, then it was delayed several times due to a variety of factors, including more testing and inspection at Wallops and NASA’s schedule of crew activities on the ISS.