Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its OA-8 mission to the International Space Station on November 11 with the five-minute launch window opening at 7:37 a.m. EST. The S.S. Gene Cernan Cygnus will launch aboard an Antares launch vehicle for the sixth time from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft will deliver vital supplies and scientific equipment to the station as part of Orbital ATK’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Integration and testing of the Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft are complete, and spacecraft encapsulation is scheduled for later this week. Watch the launch live beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST on launch day on NASA TV.
Viewing Map for OA-8 Launch
*Weather permitting, the launch of Antares from Wallops Island, Virginia, on November 11, 2017 may be widely visible along the East Coast. However, because this is an early morning launch, it is likely that the sun will interfere with viewing from most locations.*
Designed to provide responsive and low-cost access to space, Antares is a two-stage vehicle (with optional third stage) that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads weighing up to 8,000 kg. Internally funded by Orbital ATK, Antares completed a risk reduction mission and a demonstration of commercial re-supply services for the International Space Station (ISS) under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement in 2013. Orbital ATK commenced delivery of cargo to the ISS under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract in 2014.
Cargo is delivered to the station using Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft. The Cygnus spacecraft consists of two modules: the Service Module (SM) which incorporates the avionics, propulsion and power systems from Orbital ATK’s flight proven LEOStar and GEOStar spacecraft buses; and the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) which carries the crew supplies, spares and scientific experiments. The SM is integrated and tested at Orbital ATK’s Dulles, Virginia satellite manufacturing facility. The PCM is supplied by Thales Alenia Space and is produced in Turin Italy.
S.S. Gene Cernan
Orbital ATK has named the OA-8 Cygnus Cargo Delivery Spacecraft after former astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan. As the last human to step foot on the moon, Cernan set records for both lunar surface extravehicular activities and longest time in lunar orbit, paving the way for future human space exploration.