NASA has announced the launch date for an upcoming International Space Station (ISS) cargo supply rocket which will lift off from the Virginia coast at the NASA Wallops space flight facility. The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with the company’s Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is due to lift-off no sooner than 8:30 pm on Tuesday, August 1. The launch will occur on Pad 0A at the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport and when it occurs, the rocket streaking into the night sky should be visible across a broad area of the Mid Atlantic not obscured by clouds or light pollution. New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina could all see the rocket lift-off.
The 2023 launch marks 10 years since the first Cygnus resupply launch occurred in Virginia.
According to NASA, after launch when Cygnus separates from the Antares rocket, it’ll be grappled by the ISS’s Canadarm2 no earlier than August 4 and berthed to the space station’s Unity module’s Earth-facing port for cargo unloading by the Expedition 69 crew now in space.
Beyond delivering food, water, and supplies to astronauts on board the space station, Cygnus will also deliver important science and experiments to the ISS. This launch cargo manifest includes materials to be used on flammability experiments, a new potable water dispenser that provides hot water and improved sanitization in space, gene therapy testing experiments, a probe that measures plasma contents of the upper atmosphere, and even a memory card containing the creative works from students around the world.