NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is scheduled to launch its next resupply mission to the International Space Station at 9:59 a.m., EDT, Nov. 2.
NASA’s prelaunch coverage will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning Nov. 1.
Loaded with around 8,200 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware, Northrop Grumman’s 12th commercial resupply mission for the space station will launch on the company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft on an Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
The Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS Alan Bean, is named after the late Apollo and Skylab astronaut who died on May 26, 2018, at the age of 86. This Cygnus will launch 50 years to the month after Bean, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon flew to the Moon on NASA’s Apollo 12 mission, during which Bean became the fourth human to walk on the lunar surface. Bean was the lunar module pilot aboard Intrepid with mission commander Conrad when they landed on Moon at the Ocean of Storms on Nov. 19, 1969.
With a Nov. 2 launch, the Cygnus spacecraft will arrive at the space station Monday, Nov. 4 at about 5:45 a.m., Expedition 61 NASA astronaut Jessica Meir will grapple the spacecraft using the station’s robotic arm. She will be backed up by NASA astronaut Christina Koch. After Cygnus capture, ground controllers will command the station’s arm to rotate and install Cygnus on the bottom of the station’s Unity module.
Complete NASA TV coverage of activities is as follows:
* 11:30 a.m. – What’s on Board science briefing
o Pete Hasbrook, manager of International Space Station Program Science Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
o Liz Warren, associate program scientist with the U.S. National Lab
o Sam Ting, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-2) principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and Ken Bollweg, AMS project manager at Johnson
o Kathleen Coderre, principal investigator for AstroRad Vest at Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colorado, and Oren Milstein, co-founder and chief scientific officer for StemRad
o Alessandro Grattoni, chairman of the Department of NanoMedicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Maurizio Geggiani, chief technology officer at Automobili Lamborghini, for the CraigX Flight Test Platform
o Mary Murphy, senior internal payloads manager for the Zero-G Oven at Nanoracks LLC in Washington
* 2:30 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference
o Kirk Shireman, manager of NASA’s International Space Station Program at Johnson
o Pete Hasbrook
o Jeff Reddish, Wallops Range Antares project manager
o Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager of Space Systems at Northrop Grumman
o Kurt Eberly, Antares vice president at Northrop Grumman
* 9:30 a.m. – Launch coverage begins for a 9:59 a.m. liftoff
* 2:45 a.m. – Coverage of Cygnus capture with the space station’s robotic arm
* 6:30 a.m. – Cygnus installation operations coverage
The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to remain at the space station until Jan. 13, 2020, when it will depart the station, deploy Nanoracks customer CubeSats, deorbit and dispose of several tons of trash during a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere around Jan. 31.
This will be the first mission under Northrop Grumman’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA, for which the company will fly a minimum of six missions to the International Space Station through 2024.
Learn more about this space station resupply mission at https://www.nasa.gov/northropgrumman.