Watch live at 11 am ET: NASA previews Cygnus NG-15 cargo ship launch

NASA will hold a press conference today, Feb. 19 , at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) to discuss the upcoming launch of a Northrop Grumman Cygnus NG-15 cargo ship to the International Space Station. Liftoff is set for Saturday, Feb. 20, at 12:39 p.m. EST (1736 GMT) . An Antares rocket, also built by Northrop Grumman, will launch the uncrewed Cygnus NG-15 supply ship from Pad 0A of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The spacecraft is carrying about 4 tons of supplies and experiments for the seven astronauts living on the International Space Station. Editor’s Note: This advisory was updated on Feb. 18, 2021, to update the particpants for the prelaunch news conference taking place Friday, Feb. 19. NASA commercial cargo provider Northrop Grumman is targeting 12:36 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, for the launch of its 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station . Live coverage of the launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app beginning at 12 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 20, with a prelaunch event Friday, Feb. 19. Loaded with approximately 8,000 pounds of research , crew supplies, and hardware, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on the company’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The Cygnus spacecraft, dubbed the SS Katherine Johnson , will arrive at the space station Monday, Feb. 22. About 4:40 a.m., Expedition 64 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi will capture Cygnus, with NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins acting as a backup. After Cygnus capture, mission control in Houston will send ground commands for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the station’s Unity module Earth-facing port. Highlights of space station research facilitated by this Cygnus mission are: Spaceborne Computer-2 , a high-performance commercial off-the-shelf computer system being studied to increase data processing speeds for science aboard the space station LambdaVision’s, second experiment headed to the space station to study the advantages of manufacturing artificial retinas in space Micro-16 , an investigation studying muscle strength changes in worms to help us better understand muscle weakening that astronauts can experience in microgravity The Real-Time Protein Crystal Growth-2 experiment, which will demonstrate new methods for producing high-quality protein crystals in microgravity A-HoSS , a radiation detection system developed for the Orion spacecraft and certified for use on NASA’s Artemis II mission, the first mission on which a crew of astronauts will orbit the Moon in the spacecraft Exploration ECLSS: Brine Processor System , a demonstration in regenerative life support technology that will help provide more clean air and water to the space station crew. Complete coverage of launch activities is as follows: Friday, Feb. 19 11 a.m. – Prelaunch News Conference with the following participants: Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA David Brady, associate program scientist, International Space Station Program Science Office, NASA Shannon Fitzpatrick, chief, Range and Mission Management Office, Wallops Flight Facility, NASA Frank DeMauro, vice president and general manager, Tactical Space, Northrop Grumman Kurt Eberly, director, Space Launch Programs, Launch and Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman Saturday, Feb. 20 12 p.m. – Launch coverage begins Monday, Feb. 22 3 a.m. – Rendezvous coverage begins 4 a.m. – Capture of Cygnus with the space station’s robotic arm 6 a.m. – Cygnus installation operations coverage Media can submit questions during the prelaunch news conference by emailing . Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using #AskNASA. Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates and opportunities normally reserved for on-site guests. NASA’s virtual launch experience includes curated launch resources, a behind-the-scenes look at the mission, and the opportunity for a virtual launch passport stamp following a successful launch. Register for email updates or RSVP to the Facebook event for social media updates to stay up to date on mission information, mission highlights, and interaction opportunities. The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to remain at the space station until early May, when it will depart the station, disposing of several tons of trash during a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Learn more about the Northrop Grumman CRS-15 mission by going to the mission home page at: At 1 pm ET: Perseverance rover update from Mars NASA will hold a press conference today, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) to give an update on the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars on Thursday. So far, the rover is in good health and has already beamed back its first photos. Touchdown! NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully lands on Mars Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater on Mars after a nearly 7-month voyage. The rover will spend at least two years exploring the crater to search for signs of ancient life, collect samples for a future mission to return to Earth and to deliver the first helicopter to another world. You can follow the landing live on here and on our homepage. Click here for live updates from our writers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and across the U.S. Book of Mars: $22.99 at Magazines Direct Within 148 pages, explore the mysteries of Mars. With the latest generation of rovers, landers and orbiters heading to the Red Planet, we’re discovering even more of this world’s secrets than ever before. Find out about its landscape and formation, discover the truth about water on Mars and the search for life, and explore the possibility that the fourth rock from the sun may one day be our next home. NASA will host virtual news briefings, live shows, and activities the week of Feb. 15 to discuss events surrounding the landing of its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Landing on the Red Planet will occur about 3:55 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 18. Live landing commentary will begin at 2:15 p.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s website , the NASA app , and YouTube . Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the focus will be on virtual opportunities for the media and public, with in-person opportunities onsite at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California limited to members of the media who already have been credentialed. The top space stories of the month! – NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva Perseverance, which launched July 30, 2020, will search for signs of ancient microbial life, collect carefully selected rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) samples for future return to Earth, characterize Mars’ geology and climate, and pave the way for human exploration beyond the Moon. It is NASA’s fifth Mars rover and, if successful, will be the agency’s ninth Mars landing. Perseverance also is carrying along a technology experiment – the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter – which will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. News Briefing and Televised Event Schedule News briefings will originate from JPL’s Von Karman Auditorium, but all media participation will be virtual. Members of the media who want to participate in any of the news conferences must contact Rexana Vizza ( ) no later than one hour before each briefing’s start time to ask questions over a phone line. Members of the media and public also may ask questions on social media during the events using #CountdownToMars. All NASA TV news conferences will be available on the agency’s website and the NASA app . Briefing times listed below are Eastern and are subject to change, as are speakers: Tuesday, Feb. 16 1 p.m. – News conference: Mission Engineering and Technology Overview, featuring: Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters Jennifer Trosper, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL Adam Steltzner, Perseverance chief engineer, JPL Erisa Stilley, Perseverance entry, descent, and landing systems engineer, JPL Trudy Kortes, director of technology demonstrations, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), NASA Headquarters Jeff Sheehy, chief engineer, STMD, NASA Headquarters MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager, JPL 3:30 p.m. – News conference: Mission Science Overview, featuring: Lori Glaze, director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters Ken Williford, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL Luther Beegle, principal investigator, Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument, JPL Jim Bell, principal investigator, Mastcam-Z instrument, Arizona State University, Tempe Sylvestre Maurice, deputy principal investigator, SuperCam instrument, Institut de Recherche Astrophysique et Planétologie, Toulouse, France Wednesday, Feb. 17 1 p.m. – News conference: Mission Landing Update, featuring: Lori Glaze, director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters Matt Wallace, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL Jennifer Trosper, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL Allen Chen, Perseverance entry, descent, and landing lead, JPL Kaitlin Liles, deputy chief engineer, Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation 2 (MEDLI2) sensor suite, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist, Caltech, Pasadena, California 3 p.m. – News conference: Searching for Ancient Life at Mars and in Samples Returned to Earth, featuring: Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters Bobby Braun, Mars Sample Return program manager, JPL David Parker, director of human and robotic […]

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