[U: Launched]Launch Spotlight: Northrop Grumman to launch a Cygnus resupply vehicle to the ISS

A Northrop Grumman Antares 230+ is set to launch a Cygnus resupply vehicle to the International Space Station on February 19, 2022, at 12:40 p.m. EST. This Cygnus vehicle is named after former astronaut Piers Sellers.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: Saturday, February 19, 12:40 p.m. EST

Payload: Cygnus ‘S.S. Piers Sellers

Rocket: Antares 230+

Launch Pad: Pad 0A, Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Virginia

Destination: International Space Station

Landing Site: None, expendable vehicle

The Mission

Northrop Grumman is will be launching a Cygnus resupply vehicle to the International Space Station, carrying around 8,200 pounds of cargo. This mission marks the 17th launch of a Cygnus vehicle to the ISS.

What is an Antares?

The Antares 230 vehicle is a two-stage rocket with an optional third stage built by Northrop Grumman, previously Orbital Sciences. There have been a handful of different versions over the years:

  • Antares 110
    • Status: Retired
    • Total Launches: 2
    • First Flight: April 21, 2013 – Antares A-ONE
  • Antares 120
    • Status: Retired
    • Total Launches: 2
    • First Flight: January 9, 2014 – Orb-1
  • Antares 130
    • Status: Retired
    • Total Launches: 1
    • First (and last) Flight: October 28, 2014 – Orb-3
  • Antares 230
    • Status: Retired
    • Total Launches: 5
    • First Flight: October 17, 2016 – OA-5
  • Antares 230+
    • Status: Operational
    • Total Launches: 5
    • First Flight: November 2, 2019 – NG-12

The first stage is powered by the Russian RD-181 using RP1 and Liquid Oxygen as propellants. The second stage is a Castor 30XL solid rocket motor. Antares has seen only one launch failure.

The Weather

February 19, 2022

  • 75% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Ground winds
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • N/A

24-hour Delay

  • >90% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • None
  • Risk(s):
    • N/A

Last Updated: Feb 18, 1 p.m. EST

Where to watch?

NASA TV will begin live coverage of the Cygnus launch at 12:15 p.m. EST, but you can get a head start at 7:30 a.m. on the NASA Wallops IBM video site.

Featured Image: Joe Wakefield for SpaceExplored.com

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