Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Orbital OA-4 Pre-Game Show

Click the arrow to watch today's science payloads briefing. Video source: NASA YouTube channel.

Click the arrow to watch today's pre-launch briefing. Video source: NASA YouTube channel.

The latest forecast is 60% chance favorable weather for the United Launch Alliance launch of an Orbital ATK Cygnus robotic cargo ship tomorrow to the International Space Station.

The 30-minute launch window opens at 5:55 PM EST.

NASA held two media events today at Kennedy Space Center. One was about the launch itself, the other about the science payloads.

It's the first Cygnus launch since an October 2014 launch at Wallops, Virginia when an Orbital Antares exploded a few minutes after launch. Blame was placed on one of the refurbished Soviet-era booster engines. A redesigned Antares is scheduled to launch in the late spring of 2016 with new Russian RD-181 engines. Until then, two missions will launch on the ULA Atlas V at Cape Canaveral.

NASA used today's events to issue a press release touting the maturation of Kennedy Space Center as “a 21st Century spaceport.”

Making the best use of taxpayer funded resources has been a key objective from reorganization of the space center's management structure to providing optimum utilization of available assets.

Existing historic buildings and launch sites in use for more than 50 years are being converted to support a modern spaceport equipped with state-of-the art technology meeting the diverse needs of another half-century.

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