After being postponed multiple times over the last month, attributable to a hydraulic issue, Orbital ATK’s OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft is finally all set to take off tomorrow, 18th April 2017 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After troubleshooting the hydraulic glitch with ground support tools and then the next malfunction with a hydraulic booster line, the engineers of the Orbital ATK are gearing up to set out the spacecraft atop an Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch was first scheduled to blast-off on March 24, and then it slipped from Marc 24 to March 27, and finally to programmed for 18th April.
Orbital ATK’s OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft is named after S.S. John Glenn – for acknowledging first orbital astronaut of America. Atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, the spacecraft is set to launch, carrying more than 7,500 pounds of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). The OA-7 mission is scheduled to have effect at 11:11 a.m. EDT (15:11 GMT) April 18, 2017, from the Florida-based Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The United Launch Alliance or ULA will have a 30-minute window to lift off the rocket from the ground, and this high flexibility will facilitate the engineers and astronaut team some more time to troubleshoot any technological glitches that are expected to turn up during the countdown period or wait out any unexpected squally climatic situations. However, scientists are confident about suitable weather conditions for launch.
The 45th Weather Squadron has predicted only a 10% likelihood of infringing flight rules. However, the primary concern of the launch day is the cumulus clouds. Except this; all other climatic factors are supposed to go well with the program. To those unknown, earlier, Orbital ATK used to lift off its Cygnus spacecraft on its in-house Antares launch vehicle. But since last three times, Cygnus is flying on board ULA’s Atlas V.
Tomorrow’s mission of Orbital ATK is the seventh cargo run of the firm to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Now NASA wants the American aerospace firm to use the more powerful launch vehicles for transmitting the higher amount of cargo to the orbiting outpost.