Space Station Resupply Launch from VA Coming Up

Images credit & copyright: NASA & Northrop Grumman.

LAUNCH ALERT: Friday, November 16, 2018 at 04:23 EST (09:23 UTC & 01:23 PST) a Northrop Grumman Antares 230 rocket will be launching from Launch Pad 0A (LP-0A) at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on the South end of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Virginia, carrying the Cygnus cargo ship (S.S. John Young) as part of Northrop Grumman 10 (NG-10) to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Launch window for this mission will be open for 5 minutes.

After rendezvous with Station on Sunday, November 18, it will be grappled via Canadarm2 and berthed to the Earth facing (nadir) side of Station’s Unity Module (Node-1) where it’s scheduled to remain until February 12, 2019 before being loaded with waste and released to disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere.

This will be the 9th launch of the Antares rocket, the 4th launch of Antares in its 230 configuration, the 10th of 10 contracted launches of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft and the 7th “enhanced” Cygnus.

S.S. John Young: As with every Cygnus flight it has bestowed upon it, a name to honor a prominent member in the space industry. This mission’s (NG-10 or CRS-10) Cygnus vehicle has been designated the S.S. John Young in honor of one of the most legendary astronauts in history.

Northrop Grumman Antares 230 Rocket: Formerly known as Taurus II, the Antares Launch Vehicle is a two-stage (with optional third stage) medium-lift rocket.

Antares 230 numbering system explained:

2: Two NPO Energomash RD-181 first stage engines.

3: One Castor 30XL solid fuel second stage motor.

0: No third stage.

Height: 42.5 m (139 ft.)

Core Diameter: 3.9 m (13 ft.)

Width at Base: 3.9 m (13 ft.)

Stages: 2 (optional 3rd)

Boosters: 0

Total Engines: 3 (2 in the first stage and 1 in the second stage)

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level): 3,844 kN (864,000 lbf)

Gross Mass: 398,000 kg (657,000 lb.)

Payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 7,000 kg (15,432 lb.)

Payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO): 2,700 kg (5,952 lb.)

Payload to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO): 3,000 kg (6,614 lb.)

Cost: $80 million

Cygnus Spacecraft: An expendable, uncrewed, pressurized cargo re-supply spacecraft that’s 6.3 m (21 ft.) in length by 3.07 m (10.1 ft.) in diameter. This iteration of Cygnus boasts a great increase in payload capacity (roughly 7,600 lb. or 3,380 kg) due to the increased size of the ship with its stretched or “enhanced” Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) as well as lighter weight components such as the Ultraflex solar arrays.

Main Payload Fairing (PLF): Two-shell composite 9.9 m (32.5ft.) high and 3.9 m (12.8ft.) in diameter. The fairings are used to protect the spacecraft during ascent through atmospheric turbulence and into space. Once the rocket has reached a safe altitude the fairings jettisoned, exposing the spacecraft(s).

Third Stage (optional): There are two optional third stage variations for the Antares 230; the STAR 48-Based Third Stage (48BV) and the Bi-Propellant Third Stage (BTS).

Second Stage:

Height: 4.2 m. (13.8 ft.)

Diameter: 2.3 m (7.5 ft.)

Engine(s): Single Northrop Grumman Castor 30XL (Castor 120 heritage) with thrust vectoring capability

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type: Solid

Propellant Feed Method: Solid

Chamber Pressure: Solid

Fuel Type: Solid

Fuel: Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene/aluminium

Thrust (vacuum): 474 kN (106,559 lbf.)

Specific Impulse (vacuum): 348 s

Burn Time: 156 s

Restart Ability: None

Reusable?: No

First Core/Boost Stage (First Stage):

Height: 27.6 m. (90.5 ft.)

Diameter: 3.9 m (12.8 ft.)

Width at Base: 3.9 m (12.8 ft.)

Engine(s): Two NPO Energomash RD-181 engines with independent thrust vectoring

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type (cycle): Oxidizer-rich, staged combustion

Propellant Feed Method: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 25.8 MPa or 258 bar or 3,740 psi

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-181 Thrust (sea level): 1922 kN (432,000 lbf.)

Single RD-181 Thrust to Weight Ratio: 89

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level): 3,844 kN (864,000 lbf)

Specific Impulse (sea level/vacuum): 311.9 s/339 s

Burn Time: 215 s

Restart Ability: None

Reusable?: No


Watch Live:

Launch webcast begins on Thursday, November 15 at 04:15 EST (09:15 UTC & 01:15 PST).

Rendezvous, capture and berthing webcast begins on Thursday, November 18 at 03:00 EST (08:00 UTC & 00:00 PST).


NASA YouTube:

NASA Wallops:

NG-10 Mission Info:

NASA’s Northrop Grumman page:

NASA NG-10 Press Release:

NASA NG-10 East Coast Viewing Map:

Northrop Grumman Cygnus S.S. John Young:

Orbital ATK OA-9 Mission Page:

Orbital ATK OA-9 Fact Sheet:

Orbital ATK CRS Fact Sheet:

General 2018 Launch Schedule (Wiki):

Northrop Grumman Social Media:

Northrop Grumman Homepage:







All NASA social Media:

Northrop Grumman Antares Launch Vehicle:


Antares Fact Sheet:

Antares Users Guide:

Antares Mission History:

Antares Wiki:

Northrop Grumman, Cygnus Spacecraft:

CRS Page:

Cygnus Fact Sheet:

Cygnus Mission History:

Cygnus Wiki:

Wallops Flight Facility & the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS):

NASA Wallops main page:

NASA Wallops Twitter:

NASA Wallops Facebook:

Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS):

Thales Alenia Space:





NPO Erergomash:


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