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Valentine's Day Cygnus cargo ship launch to space station delayed by high winds

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus NG-13 cargo ship stands atop Pad-0A of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia on Feb. 14, 2020.
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus NG-13 cargo ship stands atop Pad-0A of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia on Feb. 14, 2020. (Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

There will no Valentine's Day launch to the International Space Station today, NASA (opens in new tab) says. 

The launch of a Northrop Grumman (opens in new tab) Antares rocket carrying an uncrewed Cygnus cargo ship filled with vital supplies — including, yes, some chocolate, cheese and other treats for astronauts — has been delayed at least 24 hours. The new launch time will be 3:21 p.m. EST (2021 GMT) on Saturday (Feb. 15) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. 

"Northrop Grumman and NASA have rescheduled today’s Antares launch attempt for the CRS-13 Cygnus resupply mission due to  strong upper level winds," NASA officials said in an update today. "The Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft remain healthy."

You can watch the Cygnus launch live here and on's homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. NASA's webcast will begin at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT).

Related: Bacteria & bone: Here's the science launching on Cygnus NG-13
How Northrop Grumman's Antares rockets & Cygnus ships work

Cygnus NG-13 will deliver 7,600 lbs. (3,400 kilograms) of experiment gear, food and other supplies (opens in new tab) to the three-person Expedition 62 crew on the space station when it arrives next week. Packed among those supplies are some tasty morsels for the astronauts, including three kinds of hard cheese (by special request), as well as Lindt chocolates (chili chocolate and sea salt flavor) and other candy just in time for Valentine's Day weekend.

"Rocket, check. Chocolate, check. Upper level winds? Unfortunately, check," officials with NASA's Wallops Flight Facility said in a Twitter post (opens in new tab)

If all goes well, the Cygnus spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station early Tuesday (Feb. 18), NASA officials said.

Northrop Grumman and NASA initially tried to launch the Cygnus cargo mission on Sunday (Feb. 9), but aborted it in the final minutes due to a ground sensor glitch. Dismal weather at the launch site prevented subsequent attempts throughout the week. 

Saturday's weather forecast looks pristine, with a 85% chance of favorable conditions for launch, NASA officials said. Visit on Saturday for launch coverage of Northrop Grumman's Cygnus NG-13 cargo mission for NASA. 

Email Tariq Malik at or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

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Tariq Malik
Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.