The delivery will be made by the United States of America National Aeronautics and Space Agency shipper, Orbital ATK. Orbital ATK will launch a cargo ship with the help of a retooled Antares rocket. The site of the launch is Wallops Island, a six square mile barrier island off of the eastern shore of Virginia.
"Welcome back to Wallops," remarkedFrank Culbertson, space systems president of Orbital ATK, on Saturday at the eve to launch. Culbertsonwas among company higher ups excited about the return to launches.
The last time an Antares rocket took off was on October, 28, 2014. The Orbital ATK rocket on that date was set to take supplies to the International Space Station for NASA. Orbital ATK has spent almosttwo years configuring the rocket to eliminate any flaws. They replaced old Russian model engines and also decided to rebuild their Wallops Island launch pad.
Orbital ATK has, since the explosion in 2014, conducted two ISS supply deliveries using rockets that were launched from Florida. Five Cygnus ships, cargo carriers named after the swan constellation, have delivered items such as food, equipment, science experiments, and clothing to the ISS since 2013.
"Every cargo mission is like Christmas, right, and they never know what they're going to find when they open the hatch," said Culbertson, a former astronaut who lived on the International Space Station himself over a decade ago.