Orb-3 Launch Scheduled in October at Wallops - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Orb-3 Launch Scheduled in October at Wallops

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - Orbital and NASA announced an updated schedule Tuesday for the launch of the Orb-3 cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. Officials at Wallops Flight Facility say the launch is scheduled for October 24, with a targeted lift-off time of 7:52 p.m.

The launch will be from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

Orbital says the Orb-3 mission schedule was revised to account for normal pre-launch processing and testing of the Antares rocket at the Wallops Island launch site. It was also revised because of a busy flight schedule and related activities for the Expedition 41 crews aboard the ISS.

Orbital says it will launch the Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft well ahead of the timeline necessary to accomplish a rendezvous and berthing with the ISS on the earliest possible date, which is November 2. NASA says the launch schedule was established in order to build flexibility into the overall mission schedule in the event of an unexpected disruption such as adverse weather at the launch site.

Following its launch, NASA says the Cygnus spacecraft will remain in orbit for approximately eight days before embarking on a series of carefully timed thruster burns to maneuver the spacecraft into close proximity to the ISS before it is grappled by crew members Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore who will be operating the Station's robotic arm.

NASA says the Orb-3 mission is the fifth launch of the company's Antares rocket in its first 18 months of operations. It will also be the fourth cargo delivery mission to the ISS by a Cygnus spacecraft, including the 2013 demonstration flight. For Orb-3, Orbital says it will deliver its largest load of cargo to date, carrying approximately 5,050 pounds of cargo to the ISS for NASA.

At the conclusion of the Orb-3 mission, Orbital says it will have carried a total of 13,378 pounds of essential supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to the ISS and will have removed 13,444 pounds of disposal cargo, a vital capability for the maintenance and operation of the Station.
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