Come along with the Talking Space Team to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) as we bring to you the sights and sounds leading up to the return to flight of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus Cargo spacecraft (named after pioneering Astronaut Donald K. Slayton) and the resumption of ISS logistics delivery missions from US Soil. In this special expanded show, we discuss the mission , designated OA4, the Cygnus itself and just why we are launching from Florida and not the usual home port for Cygnus of Wallops Island, Virginia. Also why we are flying on United Launch Alliance’s AtlasV and not OrbitalATK's Antares booster. With wind measurements playing a huge factor in this launch (wind delayed in the launch three times) Mark Ratterman takes us on a tour of a key instrument, NASA’s Doppler Radar Wind Profiler. Once fully commissioned the system will make sure the “highway to space” is safe for launch vehicles leaving KSC. We spend some time with Mr. Frank DeMauro, OrbitalATK’s Vice President of Human Spaceflight Systems to discuss his career, his role in supporting this return to flight mission, and what the future holds for the Cygnus spacecraft.
There was a bit of controversy surrounding Space Exploration Technologies (Space X) and their future return to flight plans, we discuss. We also look at the company’s progress with reimagining historic Launch Complex 39-A. We also make commentary as to why we think their message last week surrounding their future launch plans became somewhat muddled.
In a future show, we will profile progress being made by United Launch Alliance at LaunchComplex 41 to support human missions. We’ll also examine Boeing’s efforts to get the former Orbiter Processing Facility 3 now known as the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility ready to fabricate the CST-100 Starliner , and NASA’s Launch Equipment Testing Facility , making sure that connections on the new Mobile Launcher will support the Space Launch System and Orion.
Talking Space wishes to thank NASA’s George Diller and OrbitalATK’s Frank DeMauro for their time with us.
For additional photographs/images go to our Team Blog page
Show recorded 12-07-2015
Host this week: Sawyer Rosenstein
Commentators: Mark Ratterman & Gene Mikulka