The first flight of the commercially
developed SPACEHAB laboratory module begins with the flawless liftoff
of the Space Shuttle Endeavour from Launch Pad 39B at 9:07:22 a.m. EDT,
June 21, 1993. Also planned for the eight-day flight of Mission STS-57
is the retrieval of the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA). Onboard
for the fourth flight of Endeavour are a crew of six: Mission Commander
Ronald J. Grabe; Pilot Brian Duffy; Payload Commander G. David Low; and
Mission Specialists Nancy Jane Sherlock, Peter J.K. “Jeff” Wisoff, and
Janice E. Voss. The first launch attempt on June 20 was scrubbed due to
unacceptable weather conditions both at KSC and the overseas contingency
Marking the start of their second operational resupply mission to the International Space Station, Orbital Sciences successfully launched their Antares rocket this afternoon. Liftoff occurred at 12:52pm from pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The Cygnus spacecraft on the Orb 2 mission is named after astronaut Janice Voss, who passed away in 2012.
One of two companies contracted to resupply the orbiting outpost, Orbital Sciences is based in Dulles, Virginia, and has significant experience in the aerospace industry. Including building satellites, they also operate the Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles.
With less than a month to launch, Orbital ATK announced the name of the OA-5 Cygnus spacecraft earlier today. The S.S. Alan Poindexter will be the first Cygnus spacecraft to launch from Orbital ATK’s pad at Wallops Island, Virginia, since the 2014 mishap of Orb-3.
Alan Poindexter was a Navy captain and NASA Astronaut who flew on STS-122 and STS-131. He died in 2012 from a watercraft accident while on vacation in Pensacola beach.
OA-5 is slated for a July 6 launch to the International Space Station. It will arrive at the space station just a few weeks after the departure of OA-6′s S.S. Rick Husband, which has been berthed to the outpost since mid-March.
Orbital ATK has traditionally named their Cygnus spacecraft after deceased astronauts. Orb-D1 was the S.S. G. David Low, Orb-1 was the S.S. C. Gordon Fullerton, Orb-2 was the S.S. Janice E. Voss, Orb-3 S.S. Deke Slayton,OA-4 was the S.S. Deke Slayton II, and OA-6 was the S.S. Rick Husband.
The S.S. Alan Poindexter will launch on the redesigned Antares rocket, dubbed Antares 230. Featuring new RD-181 engines, Antares performed a static fire May 31 that verified successful integration of the vehicle’s systems.