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Northrop Grumman Launch Its 16th Cargo Mission to the ISS

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This Tuesday, August 10, an uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft will be launched on a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), packed with scientific research and supplies for the crew.

NASA will be streaming the launch of the craft so you can watch along live at home, and we’ve got all the details.

What the launch involves

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft is grabbed by the ISS’s robotic arm. NASA

To provide fresh supplies for the ISS crew, as well as bringing new scientific experiments to the station, NASA arranges regular resupply missions. These are typically handled by private companies under contract, like the Northrop Grumman mission this week.

The resupply mission will be launched from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus craft being launched, the NG-16, has been named the S.S. Ellison Onizuka in honor of the first Asian American astronaut and member of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew.

The craft will be launched using an Antares rocket, which will carry the Cygnus to low-Earth orbit. The Cygnus will travel for several days before arriving at the space station on August 12 and being captured by the station’s robotic arm, controlled by NASA astronaut Megan McArthur.

Some of the research being delivered on the Cygnus includes projects investigating the way that liver genes are expressed in spaceflight and whether this could be why some medications are less effective in space, an experiment to observe Earth’s atmosphere to improve communications, research into how drugs degrade in microgravity, and the development of a model of muscle loss due to age, which could be used to test treatments for muscle wasting.

How to watch the launch

The launch of the Cygnus spacecraft will be shown live on NASA TV. The launch itself is on Tuesday, August 10, with coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT) and the launch scheduled for 5:56 p.m. ET (2:56 p.m. PT). To watch, you can either use the video embedded at the top of this page or head over to NASA’s website.

If you’re really keen to get all of the details about the cargo and experiments that are being carried aboard the Cygnus, there will also be a pre-launch briefing the day before the launch, which you can tune into live as well. The briefing will be held on Monday, August 9, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT), and you can watch using the same embedded video or link.

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