A Northrop Grumman Antares 230+ is scheduled to liftoff from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia in the coming hours. The rocket will carry the automated Cygnus spacecraft on its 13th contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
It is scheduled to lift off from Wallops Pad 0A at 5:39 PM EST (22:39 PM UTC), lofting the Cygnus NG-13 spacecraft into orbit, ahead of an approximately two-day rendezvous with the ISS, where it will then be berthed to the ISS to resupply the three-person crew of Expedition 62.
The Antares rocket went verticle on the pad at approximately 1:30 AM EST.
The spacecraft is loaded with over 3,400kg of cargo, consisting of consumables and scientific experiments to be carried out on the ISS.
Included in the scientific hardware is a small microscope, which will act as a technology demonstrator for a new type of electron microscope, an experiment which will test the relationship between phages and their bacterial hosts in microgravity and space conditions and an experiment that will help us gain a better understanding of the bone mass loss astronauts undergo on orbit.
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