Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Orbital Sciences launches new cargo ship to space station

NASA commercial space partner Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., successfully launched a Cygnus cargo ship aboard its new Antares rocket at 10:58 a.m. EDT Wednesday from the Mid-AtlanticRegional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

This is the first time a spacecraft launched from Virginia is blazing a trail toward the International Space Station (ISS).

Traveling 17,500 miles per hour in Earth's orbit, Cygnus is on its way to rendezvous with the ISS on Sunday. The spacecraft will deliver about 1,300 pounds of cargo, including food and clothing, to the Expedition 37 crew aboard the space station. The crew will grapple and attach the capsule using the station's robotic arm.

Wednesday's launch was a test flight for the
Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program. The successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission will pave the way for Orbital to conduct eight planned cargo resupply flights to the space station through NASA's $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company. NASA's other cargo resupply provider, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., began flying regular cargo missions to the space station in 2012, following its own COTS demonstration mission.

"Today's launch is the culmination of more than five years' work between the NASA and Orbital teams," said Alan Lindenmoyer, NASA's program manager for commercial crew and cargo.

Over the next several days, Cygnus will perform a series of maneuvers to test and prove its systems are working properly.

The ISS crew is scheduled to capture Cygnus with a robot arm at
7:25 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Mokulele Airlines inaugural flight from Waimea-Kohala Airport

Mokulele Airlines, Hawaii's low-cost inter-island air carrier, is set to begin service from its new location at the Big Island's Waimea-Kohala Airport. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday and will begin with a traditional Hawaiian blessing followed by the inaugural flight of the new route which will depart at 7:00 a.m. for Kahului Airport on Maui.

Saturday also marks the day that Mokulele will begin daily service between Waimea-Kohala Airport and Kahului Airport with connections available to Honolulu International Airport.

To celebrate the new route, Mokulele is offering an introductory rate of just $59 one way, including taxes and fees, for reservations made by Oct. 31.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Discovery Communications selects Intelsat 19 for Asia-Pacific region services

Intelsat S.A., one of the world’s leading providers of satellite services, announced Sunday that Discovery Communications has signed an agreement to use the company's Intelsat 19 satellite. As part of the multi-transponder agreement, Silver Spring, Md.,-based Discovery will use Intelsat 19 to expand the reach of its more than 190 worldwide television networks, including its portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region.

Located at 166 degrees East on the Earth's equator, Intelsat 19 hosts the leading video neighborhood in the Pacific Ocean region, and reaches more than 37 million Pay TV subscribers. The satellite offers primary C-band distribution for many of the world’s leading programmers, and a Ku-band Direct-To-Home platform that serves customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Discovery has more than two billion cumulative subscribers in over 220 countries and territories.

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