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NASA, Northrop Grumman Postpone Space Station Cargo Ship Launch to Saturday

NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed the launch of an Antares rocket carrying fresh supplies for the International Space Station for 24 hours due to bad weather. The launch will now lift off early Saturday, Nov. 17, NASA officials said. 

The Antares rocket and its payload, an uncrewed Cygnus cargo ship also built by Northrop Grumman, were originally scheduled to launch to the station today (Nov. 14) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, but severe weather from storms along the U.S. East Coast prompted a delay to Friday. That same dismal weather forecast led mission managers to push the launch back another day. Liftoff is now scheduled for Saturday at 4:01 a.m. EST (0901 GMT). 

You can watch the Antares launch live here, beginning at 3:30 a.m. EST (0835 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV. Weather permitting, the launch should be visible to spectators along the U.S. East Coast.

"The teams decided to wait another day for launch after assessing continuing unfavorable weather conditions, including high winds and high seas, forecast for Friday morning," NASA officials said. "The forecast for a launch Saturday is significantly improved with a less than five percent chance of weather conditions preventing a launch."

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus NG-10 cargo ship stands atop Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket is scheduled to launch a resupply mission to the International Space Station on Nov. 17, 2018.
(Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

The Cygnus cargo ship is carrying about 7,400 pounds (3,356 kilograms) of new experiments, food and other supplies for the three-person Expedition 57 crew on the International Space Station, NASA officials said. If it is able to launch Saturday, Cygnus will arrive at the station early Monday (Nov. 19), when it will be captured by astronauts with a robotic arm and berthed at an open port on the orbiting lab.

Antares and Cygnus aren't the only things launching to the space station this week. On Friday, a Russian Soyuz rocket will launch an uncrewed Progress cargo ship, called Progress 71, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to deliver nearly 3 tons of food, fuel and supplies to the orbiting lab. That mission will arrive at the station on Sunday (Nov. 18), one day ahead of Cygnus, NASA officials said. 

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook. Original article on Space.com.

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