NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in the Mid Atlantic will be home to another launch of the Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket which will bring another Cygnus cargo craft to the International Space Station (ISS). This next launch is scheduled to lift-off in the afternoon of February 19 at 12:39pm ET. As long as the weather cooperates, lunchtime launch should be visible across much of the Mid Atlantic from New York City south to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and west into central Virginia.
The Virginia-based spaceport usually lifts two supply missions from the launchpad each year.
This 17th commercial resupply services mission will bring thousands of pounds of food, supplies, and science to the the ISS. This mission will also help get many science projects off the ground and in space. One is the MicroQuin 3D Tumor investigation, which will examine the effects of a therapeutic on breast and prostate cancer cells. The Hydrogen Sensor Technology Demonstration will be employed, which will test new sensors for the space station’s oxygen generation system. Colgate Palmolive will conduct a skin aging study on this mission while the Space Demonstration for All Solid-State Li Ion Battery investigation plans to demonstrate a lithium-ion secondary battery capable of safe, stable operation under extreme environments.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the NASA Wallops Visitor’s Center will be closed to the public for launch. However, NASA invites people to watch the launch virtually on NASA TV.
Elsewhere, the rocket can be viewed in eastern skies across a large area of the Mid Atlantic, as long as Mother Nature cooperates with cloud-free skies. The rocket should be visible within a minute of launch across much of eastern Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. By 2 minutes, the rocket should become visible from central New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, central Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina.
The International Space Station made headlines last week when NASA announced its plans to destroy it. In less than 10 years, it is expected to crash into the Pacific Ocean.