Flight of Yankee Clipper – SSEP M6 Update: Launch Rescheduled for 6:22 pm ET Today

Hello everyone-

As you likely heard, the launch yesterday was scrubbed due to a boat in the restricted zone (yes, really). Below is the NASA Press Release detailing the next attempt TODAY at 6:22 pm ET. We are assessing if all 8 SSEP delegations that were in attendance yesterday were able to stay for the second attempt.

As a quick update – we had the official NASA Pre-Launch and Science Briefings on Sunday. I was on the panel for the Science Briefing, and Ken Kremer from Universe Today asked me to address Sen. Coburn’s comments regarding SSEP as a waste of federal dollars. I addressed his comments very forcefully. The Briefing is archived on YouTube.

Yesterday, all 8 student flight teams in attendance conducted the NASA SSEP Press Briefing. They were all wonderful. To a team, they were poised, confident, provided an understanding of their flight experiments, and answered questions from the audience. At the conclusion, lots of photos were taken of all 41 student researchers in attendance at the front of the room, with the live feed of the launch pad and rocket on the immense screen behind then, and framed on both sides by the American and NASA flags. Pretty awe inspiring sight to see our next generation of researchers meeting the challenge that SSEP has put before them in such a remarkable way. To the other 10 teams that were not at the launch site , you were definitely with us in spirit, and the press received a media package providing an overview of all 18 M6 flight experiments. To all 18 teams, a heartfelt congratulations from the entire SSEP national team.

Yesterday. we were at the launch site 1.5 hours before the launch. The sky was clear, a crescent Moon hung low in the sky. The Sun set, and Pad 0-A was ablaze with lights on the rocket. From just 1.7 miles from the pad, the rocket looms quite large.

Though the launch was scrubbed just minutes away from the 6:45 pm ET launch time, ISS flew overhead at 6:50 pm. It just happened to be flying over Wallops at launch. The second brightest object in the night sky next to the Moon, ISS was a bright light clipping along at nearly 5 miles per second. We are sure the astronauts were looking down at the pad from 260 miles up expecting a rocket plume.

We will try again tonight, and ISS is again expected. Hopefully we will see the rocket clear the pad en route to ISS, and ISS flying overhead waiting for its next arrival.

Tune in to NASA TV for LIVE coverage this evening. If you wish, watch right here at the SSEP website using the NASA TV window in the prior blog post. And listen for folks on NASA TV to refer to the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.


real spaceflight all the time


October 27, 2014
Launch of Third Orbital Sciences Mission to Space Station Rescheduled; NASA TV Coverage Reset

The third Orbital Sciences cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch at 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28, from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA Television coverage of Tuesday’s launch will begin at 5:30 p.m. A post-launch news conference will follow at approximately 8 p.m.

A Monday launch attempt was scrubbed because of a boat down range in the trajectory Orbital’s Antares rocket would have flown had it lifted off.

A Tuesday launch will result in the Cygnus spacecraft arriving at the space station early Sunday, Nov. 2. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and berthing will begin at 3:30 a.m. with grapple at approximately 4:58 a.m.

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The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.