Bad weather postpones Orbital cargo launch

Bad weather postpones Orbital cargo launch

Rainy weather & thick clouds over Florida on Thursday forced Orbital ATK to postpone the planned launch of its Cygnus cargo craft toward the International Space Station, NASA said.

The next attempt at launch will come on Friday at 5:33 pm (2133 GMT), with the opening of a 30-minute launch window, NASA said.

However, the weather forecast for Friday is only 30 percent favorable for takeoff, the US space agency said.

The mission is Orbital ATK's first space launch since its Antares rocket exploded in October 2014 just seconds after liftoff, destroying the cargo craft & its thousands of pounds of supplies bound for the astronauts living at the orbiting International Space Station.

This time, Orbital ATK is using United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket for the launch, while it upgrades its Antares rocket, which failed due to a problem with its reconditioned Ukrainian engine.

The cargo ship is packed with more supplies than a Cygnus has ever carried, amounting to some 7,300 pounds (3,300 kilograms), company officials said.

Sophisticated science experiments, ready-made food, a jet pack for spacewalking astronauts & even a satellite made by elementary school students are all on board.

Source: “AFP”