Media accreditation is open for launch of Northrop Grumman’s 12th commercial resupply services mission. Cygnus spacecraft deliver NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the International Space Station.

NASA Invites Media for Northrop Grumman’s Space Station Launch

NASA Northrop Grumman Launching

Northrop Grumman is planning liftoff of its Antares rocket at 2:39 p.m. EDT Oct. 21 from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility located on Wallops Island in Virginia. This will be the first mission under Northrop’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA.

For covering the prelaunch and launch activities at Wallops, international media without U.S. citizenship have to apply for credentials by Wednesday, Sept. 18. The application deadline for the media who are U.S. citizens is Oct. 15. All accreditation requests will be sent to Keith Koehler at keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov.

Each resupply mission to the station will delivers scientific investigations in the areas of biology and biotechnology, and technology development,Earth and space science, physical sciences, and demonstrations.

The highlights of space station that will be facilitated by research aboard this Cygnus mission include:

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) placed on the exterior of the International Space Station looks for evidence of dark, strange, and anti-matter to allow us to understand how our universe was formed. A series of spacewalks was planned later this year to prolong the operational life of the AMS-02. Astronauts will cut and reconnect the fluid lines, a feat not done before in space that could prove valuable for future missions at NASA’s in the upcoming lunar Gateway or missions to the Mars.

The AstroRad Vest test out a special vest that is designed to protect astronauts from radiation caused due to the unpredictable solar particle events. Astronauts will provide input on the garment while wearing itfor performing daily tasks and this include how easy it is to put on, how it fits and feels, and the range of motion allowed by the vest. Moreover, the Garment developers will use this input to improve the design. Use of the vest will protect crew members on missions to Moon and Mars.

The Zero-G Oven examine the heat transfer properties and the process of baking food in microgravity. It also uses an oven designed specifically for use aboard the space station and might have application on future long-duration missions by providing a way to increase variety in flavor and nutrition of food for the team members.

The Made in Space Recycler will test the systems required to reprocess plastic into 3D printing filament that can be transferred for use to the Made in Space Manufacturing Device, a 3D printer that will operated on the orbiting laboratory since 2016. This has been implications for space conservation and deep space missions.

Northrop Grumman will be using a new 24-hour late load capability on this mission. This innovative system will be having a mobile clean room and a removable portion of the payload fairing that will allow time-sensitive science experiments to be loaded into Cygnus as late as 24 hours before the launch

Cargo resupply from U.S. companies will ensures a national capability to deliver critical science research for the space station and this will significantly increase NASA’s ability to conduct new investigations at only laboratory in space.