Thursday, April 18, 2013

Space Updates

It's another busy week in space news.  Tomorrow is going to be a doozy as Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and and Roman Romanenko will be venturing outside of the ISS for a six hour spacewalk to deploy and retrieve several science experiments and replace a navigational aid.  This will be the 167th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance.  You can watch the spaceflight online starting at 8:30 am CDT on NASA TV.

Additionally, after a two day delay due to an umbilical cable prematurely disconnected from the upper stage booster, Orbital Sciences Corporation will be launching their first test flight of the Antares rocket tomorrow as well.  The first Antares launch attempt on Wednesday aborted with 12 minutes left in the countdown and engineers are still troubleshooting, plus Friday's weather isn't looking so good, so there's a chance that the schedule delay may be extended.  But when Antares does indeed launch, you can also catch live footage on NASA TV.  Friday's launch attempt is scheduled for 4:00 pm CDT and NASA TV will begin live coverage starting at 3:30.  This test flight is just to demonstrate rocket capability.  Follow up flights, along with the Cygnus cargo freighter, will test for the ability to carry cargo resupply missions to ISS, the main goal of this Orbital Sciences program.  And ISS definitely appreciates more cargo supply capabilities from the US!

(image from here)

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