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ISS Resupply Mission Postponed Due to Hurricane Nicole

Oct 13, 2016 06:14 AM EDT
German Astronaut Alexander Gerst Aboard The International Space Station
NASA's resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was postponed due to hurricane Nicole.
(Photo : Alexander Gerst/ESA via Getty Images)

The resupply mission bound to deliver goods to the International Space Station (ISS) was postponed due to the unstable weather caused by Hurricane Nicole.

Orbital ATK is supposed to execute the resupply mission to space this week. However, storm Nicole caused an unexpected delay. The package or cargo is meant to replenish goods used by astronauts inside the ISS.

Originally set for lift off this Thursday, Oct. 13, the resupply mission that will be executed by an unmanned Cygnus cargo by Orbital ATK was postponed due to Nicole after authorities issued weather warnings covering the launch site of the mission. "The tracking station at Bermuda is required to conduct the Antares launch from Wallops," Steven Kremer, chief of the Wallops Range and Mission Management Office said in a statement.

Aside from necessities, the resupply mission will transport hardware for research and scientific experiments. The resupply mission was rescheduled to Sunday, Oct. 16. Nicole Is expected to hit Bermuda on starting Oct. 14 carrying with it powerful winds and rains.

From a tropical storm, Nicole was upgraded to a category one hurricane by the U.S. National Hurricane Center that also issued a warning for Bermuda. Nicole has predicted winds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour and has a tendency to gain strength in the coming days.

The crew and engineers only have a 5-minute window to send the package into orbit form NASA's Wallops Flight Facility located in Virginia. "The ability to support a launch will depend on the impact the storm has on not only our systems but also the overall Bermuda infrastructure," Steve Kreme, chief of Wallops Range and Mission Management Office said in a statement.

After Nicole, the team will also conduct an assessment of the area to see if the facilities will be ready for the experiment and if it conforms to operational standards. The 5-minute launch window is what makes this mission more interesting. Will NASA and Orbital ATK able to do it? To know more about the mission, there will be two broadcasts before the launch that will be aired this weekend.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship will carry 2,313 kilograms of payload to the ISS.

 

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