Tags: US | SCI | Space | Station

Dangerously Windy Again for Launch of Space Station Supplies

Saturday, 05 Dec 2015 11:39 AM

High wind once again threatened to keep space station supplies stuck on Earth.

An unmanned rocket loaded with 7,400 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station stood ready for a late Saturday afternoon liftoff. But forecasters put the odds of acceptable weather at only 20 percent. Lousy weather already has resulted in a pair of back-to-back launch delays.

NASA is anxious to get its commercial supply chain moving again. Its two suppliers have been grounded for months by launch accidents, and the space station pantry needs restocking.

Shipper Orbital ATK is using another company rocket, the venerable Atlas V, for this grocery run. But even the Atlas is no match for Mother Nature.

Before fueling the rocket for a 5:10 p.m. launch attempt, managers planned to discuss the option of waiting until Sunday for slightly better weather.

Besides food, Orbital's Cygnus cargo carrier contains clothes and toiletries for the six space station residents, as well as spacewalking gear, air-supply tanks and science experiments.

In orbit, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly had to endure some teasing from his identical twin back home about the repeated delays.

Mark Kelly is a retired astronaut as well as an author; his "Mousetronaut" and "Mousetronaut Goes to Mars" are among seven storybooks inside the Cygnus. The picture books are part of an astronaut-in-space reading program for children.

Following Friday's delay for potentially dangerous gusts, Mark said in a tweet, "Sorry @StationCDRKelly, you'll have to wait one more day until you can read 'Mousetronaut'!"

"I don't know what I anticipate more, #Mousetronaut or the new #StarWars movie," Scott shot back via Twitter.

Kelly is making NASA's first yearlong mission. On board since March, he'll be up there until the beginning of this coming March.

Online:

Orbital ATK: https://www.orbitalatk.com/

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

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High wind once again threatened to keep space station supplies stuck on Earth.
US, SCI, Space, Station
294
2015-39-05
Saturday, 05 Dec 2015 11:39 AM
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