WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA Television will provide live coverage of the Wednesday Jan. 8 launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Cygnus cargo spacecraft mission to resupply the International Space Station. The Antares rocket carrying Cygnus will lift off at 1:32 p.m. EST from the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.
Launch from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops originally was set for Tuesday, Jan. 7, but was postponed because of a forecast for unusually cold temperatures.
On Tuesday, NASA TV will broadcast two news briefings from Wallops. A preview of the mission's science cargo will air at 2 p.m. and a prelaunch status will air at 3 p.m. Media wishing to ask questions during the briefing should call the newsroom at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston at 281-483-5111 15 minutes prior to the briefing.
At 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, NASA TV will air a comprehensive video feed of launch preparations and other footage related to the mission. Launch coverage will begin at 1 p.m.
Cygnus will carry 2,780 pounds of supplies to the space station, including vital science experiments that will expand the research capabilities of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. The cargo also includes crew provisions, spare parts, science experiment hardware and 23 student experiments that will involve more than 10,000 students on the ground. These experiments will involve life sciences topics ranging from amoeba reproduction to bone calcium to salamanders.
The spacecraft will arrive at the space station Sunday, Jan. 12. Astronauts Michael Hopkins of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will capture the resupply vehicle with the station's robotic arm and install it on the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module.
NASA TV coverage of capture and installation will begin at 5 a.m. Sunday. Grapple is scheduled for 6:02 a.m. Coverage of the installation of Cygnus onto the Harmony module will begin at 7 a.m.
This and future commercial resupply missions by Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va., and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., will help ensure a robust national capability to deliver critical science research to orbit, significantly increasing NASA's ability to conduct new science investigations aboard the space station.
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