On October 3, at 04:16 Kyiv time, the Antares launch vehicle was successfully launched from the Wallops Flight Facility. This is the thirteenth launch of a launch vehicle of the Northrop Grumman Corporation to the International Space Station as part of the NASA program.
Northrop Grumman has a tradition of naming another Cygnus spacecraft after people who have made significant contributions to the United States space program. The NG-14 mission is dedicated to the memory of NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian descent to fly into space. Chavla was selected to participate in the astronaut program in 1994, made her first flight in 1997 aboard the spacecraft “Columbia” (mission STS-87). In 2003, Kalpana Chavla, along with other crew members, was tragically killed during the STS-107 mission when Colombia did not survive its return to Earth.
The spacecraft has a SharkSat payload created by Northrop Grumman. The Saffire-V experiment will be performed with this equipment.
SS Kalpana Chawla will stay in the ISS for about three months, after which it will travel with a cargo for disposal weighing about 3.7 tons.
For reference: starting in 2009, YUZHMASH began work on creating the main structure of the first stage of the Antares launch vehicle. The company manufactures the stage of the launch vehicle in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises, including Design Bureau “Yuzhnoye”, “Hartron-ARCOS”, Kyivprilad, “Hartron-YUKOM”, “CHESARA”, “RAPID”.