You May Be Able to See NASA’s Launch Tonight in Central New York
NASA is set to launch its Cygnus spacecraft tonight, and if the weather conditions are right, we may be able to spot it from Central New York.
Originally, the launch of the Northrup Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was scheduled for Tuesday but had to be pushed back because of unfavorable weather conditions. The launch was rescheduled and will now take off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia no earlier than 9:38 p.m. on Thursday, October 1.
What's unique about this launch is that Americans all across the East Coast may be able to see the spacecraft as it heads toward the International Space Station. The New York Post reports that the Cygnus could be visible in Washington D.C. 90 seconds after launch, and that New York City residents may be able to spot it 150 seconds after liftoff. Of course, the uncertainty comes from tonight's weather conditions. Weather.com currently predicts that both Utica and Syracuse will be partly cloudy between 9 and 10 p.m. tonight, but the true test will come when you look to the sky at 9:38 p.m.
The Cygnus spacecraft will be unmanned and carrying nearly 8,000 pounds of research, supplies and hardware to the International Space Station, NASA said in a press release. According to Space.com, there will even be a new space toilet, called the Universal Waste Management System, on board.
If you don't want to step outside or conditions look too cloudy to spot the spacecraft, you can watch NASA's stream of the launch on NASA TV. Coverage will begin at 9 p.m.