January 09, 2014
NASA commercial partner Orbital Sciences Corporation launched its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard the Antares rocket at 1:07 p.m. EST Thursday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for the Orbital-1 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
At the time of launch the station was flying about 260 miles over the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Brazil.
Over the next two and a half days, Cygnus will perform a series of engine firings to put it on track for a Sunday morning rendezvous with the station. When the vehicle reaches the capture point about 30 feet from the complex, Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Koichi Wakata will use Canadarm2, the station’s 57-foot robotic arm, to reach out and grapple Cygnus at 6:02 a.m. The crew then will use the robotic arm to guide Cygnus to its berthing port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node for installation beginning around 6:20 a.m.
image credit: NASA, Bill Ingalls