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OA-7 Pre Launch Briefings, Mar 2017, KSC

23-Mar-2017 through 23-Mar-2017

UPDATE, March 22:  The launch has been postponed yet again. There is no date set for either the launch or the pre-launch briefings.

UPDATE, MARCH 20:  The launch has been postponed to no earlier than (NET) March 27.


Note that as of March 18, a decision had not yet been made as to whether to launch on March 23 or March 24.  We will update this posting when more information is available.


NASA will air two pre-launch briefings for the launch of Orbital ATK's 7th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS).  This launch will take place on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL, rather than Orbital ATK's own Antares rocket (which launches from Wallops Island, VA).

Orbital ATK's cargo spacecraft is generically called Cygnus.  The company names each individual Cygnus after a deceased astronaut.  This one is named S.S. John Glenn, in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth (in 1962), who died in December 2016.

As of March 18, the launch is scheduled for March 24 at 9:00 pm ET, with the pre-launch briefings on March 23.  However, ULA is hoping that the Air Force's Eastern Test Range, of which Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is a part, will become available a day earlier.  That would make launch on March 23 and the pre-launch briefings on March 22.

On the day of launch, there will be a post-launch briefing.

As of March 18, the two pre-launch briefings are scheduled for March 23, but they could take place a day earlier if the launch moves up.  Whichever day they occur, they will be held at these times be broadcast on NASA TV:
  • 1:00-2:30 pm ET, "What's on Board" science briefing highlighting experiments being taken to the ISS on this mission
  • 4:00 pm ET, mission status briefing
    • Kirk Shireman, ISS program manager
    • Frank Culbertson, President, Orbital ATK Space Systems Group
    • Vern Thorp, ULA program manager for NASA missions

On the day of launch, NASA TV launch coverage begins at 8:00 pm ET.   Post-launch coverage will resume at 10:30 pm ET for solar array deployment and include interviews with mission managers.

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