High winds push Orbital space launch bid to Sunday

In a handout photo released by United Launch Alliance on December 1, 2015, a transporter moves Orbital ATK's enhanced Cygnus spa
In a handout photo released by United Launch Alliance on December 1, 2015, a transporter moves Orbital ATK's enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, fitted inside the payload fairing of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida

High winds in Florida have pushed to Sunday Orbital ATK's launch of its unmanned Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station, the latest in a series of delays due to weather.

The next launch bid will begin at 4:44 pm (2144 GMT) on Sunday, with the opening of a 30-minute launch window, NASA said.

Strong winds also delayed Friday's attempt, and rainy weather postponed the initial launch bid on Thursday.

Orbital has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to supply astronauts at the orbiting outpost but has not sent any cargo in more than a year because of an Antares rocket explosion in October 2014 that destroyed its and the thousands of pounds of supplies on board.

The accident was blamed on a failure in the decades-old Ukrainian-made engine, which had been reconditioned for use.

This time, Orbital ATK is relying on an Atlas V rocket made by United Launch Alliance to propel the cargo ship to low-Earth orbit.

The cargo ship is loaded with 7,300 pounds (3,300 kilograms) of food, science experiments, and other supplies.


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Bad weather postpones Orbital cargo launch

© 2015 AFP

Citation: High winds push Orbital space launch bid to Sunday (2015, December 6) retrieved 20 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-high-orbital-space-sunday.html
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