Northrop Grumman launched a Cygnus spacecraft crammed with NASA supplies to the International Space Station on February 15 in an afternoon launch that had some impeccable timing.
An Antares rocket, also constructed by Northrop Grumman, lifted off the uncrewed Cygnus NG-13 spacecraft at 3:21 p.m. EST — that is “3-2-1” for a launch time — from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Center.
NASA initially attempted to complete the mission on February 9 but canceled the launch in the final minutes because of a ground equipment sensor problem. Dismal weather during the week prompted more delays.
Cygnus NG-13 will reach the space station on February 18, deliver around 7,500 lbs. of science experiments, supplies, and other vital gear for the astronauts of Expedition 62. Packed among those supplies are some treats, along with fruits, choice candy alternatives just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend.
The cargo is delivering wedges of Wisconsin cheddar, Parmesan and Fontina hard cheeses in a cold bag for the station’s three-person Mission 62 crew to enjoy.
Northrop Grumman named the Cygnus NG-13 spacecraft the “S.S. Robert H. Lawrence” to give tribute to U.S. Air Force Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., who became the first Afro-American ever chosen to be an astronaut in 1967.