Northrop Grumman’s NG-13 resupply mission to the International Space Station(ISS), which was scheduled to carry a science experiment developed by Cape Town-based XinaBox in partnership with US-based Quest for Space, has been rescheduled for 3:43 PM EST on 14 February.
The launch was initially scrubbed on 9 February minutes before lift-off due to off-nominal readings from a ground support sensor. A later date was announced for February 13 at 4:05 PM ET. However, the latest update from Northrop Grumman reveals that the launch is likely to happen tomorrow due to weather conditions.
“Northrop Grumman and NASA have set the next launch attempt to no earlier than February 13 at 4:05 p.m. ET, due to an unfavourable weather forecast over the next two days, and time required to address the ground support issue. Teams will refresh 24-hour late load cargo the day before. The Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft remain healthy,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement notifying the public of the scrub. The Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft remain healthy.
The Cygnus spacecraft will carry approximately 7,500 pounds (3,400 kilograms) of cargo onboard an Antares launch vehicle to the ISS. Among other supplies, the launch vehicle will ferry XinaBox’s XK92 ISS mission experiment kit alongside 17 other science experiments affiliated with the Quest for Space Program. Fourteen of these experiment modules were developed by Partner Schools as part of the Quest for Space Program, one by Texas A & M University, and two Quest Improved Design Qualification Units.
“For anyone who hasn’t been glued to NASA TV watching the live launch – an abort was called just as the launch window was closing. Disappointing, but quite normal for #Space missions. A new launch window will open and our kit will reach the #ISS soon,” XinaBox tweeted some minutes after the launch was scrubbed.
To learn more about the XinaBox ISS mission kit, read XinaBox, Quest for Space To Send Experiments To The International Space Station.
The Quest for Space Lab educational research flight opportunity was made available to Valley Christian High School of San Jose, California, via a partnership with the Quest Institute for Quality Education, and by Space Tango who provides both the payload architecture and in-flight operations on the International Space Station.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.