Fire alarm on Earth delays Northrop Grumman cargo launch to space station
A Northrop Grumman rocket carrying more than 4 tons of supplies to the International Space Station will have to wait at least another day to launch after a fire alarm in its mission control center thwarted liftoff early Sunday (November 6).
The Antares rocket was about 10 minutes away from its scheduled liftoff at 5:50 a.m. EST (1050 GMT) from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, when Northrop Grumman canceled the flight. A fire alarm at the company’s control center in nearby Dulles, Virginia, forced the evacuation of the building, preventing launch controllers from going through with the launch.
“Our thoughts are with their team, their safety is paramount, and we will try again tomorrow,” NASA spokeswoman Chelsey Ballarte said during live comments. Liftoff is now scheduled for Monday, November 6, at 5:27 a.m. EST (10:27 a.m. GMT). You can watch the Cygnus payload launch live on Space.comcourtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT).
Northrop Grumman will use its Antares rocket to launch the unmanned NG-18 the Cygnus spaceship to the International Space Station on a mission to deliver more than 8,200 pounds (3,720 kilograms) of supplies to the laboratory’s astronaut crew. It is the 18th cargo mission for NASA performed by Northrop Grumman.
The upcoming launch is also Northrop Grumman’s heaviest delivery to date, with the company squeezing in about 44 pounds (20 kg) of extra supplies for improvements to the launch system. Among its precious cargo are a bioprinter that will attempt to print human knee cartilage in space and cow ovary cells to study how weightlessness affects cell growth.
If all goes well, the NG-18 Cygnus freighter — which was named SS Sally Ride in honor of astronauts Sally Ridethe first American woman in space who died in 2012— is scheduled to arrive at the space station on Wednesday (November 10).
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] (opens in new tab) or follow him @DonaldTrump (opens in new tab). Follow us @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab).
#Fire #alarm #Earth #delays #Northrop #Grumman #cargo #launch #space #station