|November 24, 2015
NASA TV Coverage Set for Fourth Orbital ATK Resupply Mission to Space Station
NASA commercial partner Orbital ATK is targeting Thursday, Dec. 3, for the launch of its fourth contracted mission to the International Space Station under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 4:30 p.m. EST.
The company’s Cygnus spacecraft is set to lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:55 p.m., the beginning of a 30-minute launch window, from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Cygnus will carry more than 7,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support dozens of approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 45 and 46. This first Cygnus mission using the Atlas V launch system provides increased performance and flexibility to the Orbital ATK cargo delivery service.
In addition to launch coverage, NASA TV will air three briefings Wednesday, Dec. 2: several experts involved in the launch and mission will host an interactive discussion with the agency’s social media followers from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; at 1 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss some of the investigations to be delivered; at 2 p.m., mission managers will host a prelaunch news conference. A post-launch briefing will be held approximately two hours after launch. All briefings will air live on NASA TV and the agency's website.
The new experiments arriving to the orbiting laboratory will challenge and inspire future scientists and explorers. Science payloads will offer a new life science facility that will support studies on cell cultures, bacteria and other microorganisms; a microsatellite deployer and the first microsatellite that will be deployed from the space station; and experiments that will study the behavior of gases and liquids, clarify the thermo-physical properties of molten steel, and evaluate flame-resistant textiles.
Cygnus also will deliver replacement cargo items including a set of Microsoft HoloLens devices for use in NASA’s Sidekick project, a safety jet pack astronauts wear during spacewalks known as SAFER, and high pressure nitrogen and oxygen tanks to plug into the station’s air supply network.
This will be the first flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft to the station. The cargo freighter now features a greater payload capacity, new UltraFlexTM solar arrays and new fuel tanks. Cygnus’ pressurized cargo module has been extended and increases the spacecraft’s interior volume capacity by 25 percent, enabling more cargo to be delivered with each mission.
A Dec. 3 launch will result in the Cygnus spacecraft arriving at the space station on Sunday, Dec. 6. NASA crew members Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly will use the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture Cygnus at approximately 5:30 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and grapple of Cygnus will begin at 4 a.m. Cygnus will be the first cargo ship to be berthed to the Earth-facing port on the Unity module. Coverage of Cygnus' installation will begin at 7:15 a.m.
The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before its destructive reentry into Earth’s atmosphere in January 2016, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash.
If the launch does not occur on Dec. 3, the next launch opportunity would be at 5:33 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, resulting in a grapple and berthing on Dec. 7 or Dec. 8.
Media at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida also will have the opportunity to participate in tours on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Journalists will see the progress being made on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which will return astronaut launches from U.S. soil to the space station, as well as the ground systems to support the Space Launch System rocket for missions to deep space and eventually on the journey to Mars. The deadline for media to apply for accreditation has passed. For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or email@example.com.
PRESS ACCREDITATION OFFICE HOURS OF OPERATION
Badges will be issued at the Press Accreditation Office located on State Road 3, Merritt Island. Badging hours of operation are as follows:Tuesday, Dec. 1: 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 2: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and noon – 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3: 1:30 – 5 p .m.
For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS SITE HOURS OF OPERATION
The NASA Press Site at Kennedy will be open as follows:Tuesday, Dec. 1: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 2: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 4: In the event of a 24-hour scrub, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
ISS SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY PANEL ON NASA TV
Wednesday, Dec. 2 (L-1 day): An ISS Science, Research and Technology briefing will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 1 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming Internet coverage.
PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Wednesday, Dec. 2 (L-1 day): A prelaunch status will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 2 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming Internet coverage.
POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Thursday, Dec. 3: A post-launch news conference will occur at approximately 8 p.m. and NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming Internet coverage.
NEWS MEDIA TOURS
News and social media participants will receive tours of various facilities and receive briefings about upcoming NASA and commercial partner activities.
Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Update/Grounds Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Update
Tuesday, Dec. 1 (L-2 Days): News media will depart the Press Site by bus at 8 a.m. for a tour and CCP update at Launch Pad 39A, an update about the crew access tower at Space Launch Complex 41, and a GSDO update at the Launch Equipment Test Facility (LETF). Buses will return to the Press Site at 12:30 p.m. for lunch. At 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., buses will depart the Press Site for the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility and return at 3:40 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. Representatives from NASA CCP, NASA GSDO, United Launch Alliance and Boeing will provide updates.
Atlas Vehicle Roll to the Launch Pad and Launch Pad Photo Opportunity
Wednesday, Dec. 2 (L-1 Day): News media will depart the Press Site by bus at 9 a.m. for Universal Camera Site 3. The vehicle will roll to the pad at 10 a.m. At 10:35 a.m., buses will depart for a SLC-41 launch pad photo opportunity and return to the Press Site at 11:55 a.m.
Remote Camera Set Up – Space Launch Complex 41 or UCS-3 for Foreign Nationals
Wednesday, Dec. 2 (L-1 Day): News media will be able to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad. Foreign media will be able to establish cameras at the nearby Universal Camera Site 3. Buses depart the Press Site at 3:30 p.m. and return at 5:55 p.m.
ISS Update/ Launch Viewing
Thursday, Dec. 3 (Launch Day): News media may tour the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) for space station updates and view the launch from the NASA Causeway. Buses will depart from the Press Site parking lot for the SSPF at 2:30 p.m. Updates will be provided on NASA’s Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System (NORS), Veggie, Sage III and the 15 years of human presence aboard the station. At 4:05 p.m., buses will depart the SSPF for launch viewing at the NASA Causeway. Buses will return to the Press Site at 6:35 p.m. A sign-up sheet will be available in the newsroom for news media desiring to photograph the launch from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The space available is limited, and media must sign up in person. Departure from the NASA News Center for the VAB will be at 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 1 – Thursday, Dec. 3: Up to 50 social media representatives were invited to cover launch. The Kennedy Press Site Annex will serve as their home base, and they will view launch from the NASA Causeway. Social media will attend some of the same activities as the traditional news media and will receive tours of various facilities and receive briefings about upcoming NASA and commercial partner activities.
NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE
Thursday, Dec. 3 (Launch day): NASA TV live coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. EST and conclude at approximately 7 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 4:15 p.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.
IN-FLIGHT NASA TV COVERAGE
If launch occurs Dec. 3, NASA TV will provide live coverage Dec. 6 of the arrival of the Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at 4 a.m. EST with grapple at approximately 5:30 a.m.
NASA WEB PRELAUNCH AND LAUNCH COVERAGE
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the Orbital ATK CRS-4 flight will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and text updates beginning at 4:30 p.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video, podcast and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Joshua Santora at 321-867-6357. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:
Learn more about the Orbital ATK CRS-4 mission by going to the mission home page at:
The Kennedy Twitter feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit:
The Kennedy Facebook feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit:
Recorded status reports on the launch of Orbital ATK CRS-4 and associated prelaunch activities will be provided on the Kennedy media phone line starting Tuesday, Dec. 1. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.
Wireless capability for the news media is available at the Kennedy Press Site.
For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit:
For more information about the International Space Station, visit:
Sean Elizabeth Wilson
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