One week ago (November 19, 2018) Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus pressurized cargo freighter arrived at and berthed with the International Space Station. The rocket had launched two days prior, on November 17, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. This was the ninth launch of Antares from Virginia, and the first overseen by the new Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, a division formed by NG’s acquisition of Orbital ATK earlier this year.
Moments after liftoff, the Antares rocket is reflected in a pool of standing water at Launchpad 0A. Photo credit: Jared Haworth / We Report Space
The successful launch on November 17 followed a couple of weather-related delays earlier in the week. Originally slated to launch on Thursday, November 15, a rapidly intensifying nor’easter granted a 90% probability of weather-related violation on launch day. Mission planners opted to target a backup opportunity on November 16, but continued poor conditions and a vastly improved forecast for Saturday morning triggered a second delay.
Standing water following rainstorms earlier in the week at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Photo credit: Jared Haworth / We Report Space
While the countdown was marked with a few instances of telemetry drop-out reported by launch controllers, redundant ...