Rocket launch from Delmarva delayed by space station repairs

UPDATE: The mission has been postponed because of repairs needed to a pump on the International Space Station, according to NASA. Crew members aboard the space station are slated to take space walks Dec. 21, 23 and 25 to replace the pump, used to keep equipment cool.

Original post:

A launch to restock the International Space Station with provisions and scientific equipment is expected to be visible across Maryland on Thursday, though it could be delayed.

NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. have scheduled the launch of an Antares rocket from Wallops Flight Facility on the Delmarva peninsula for no earlier than 9:19 p.m. on Dec. 19. The launch had previously been scheduled for a day earlier but a decision to push it back was made because of a malfunction.

The rocket was rolled out to its launch pad Tuesday morning, according to Orbital, though no decision on a Thursday launch had been made. An update was expected from NASA Tuesday or Wednesday.

The rocket will carry a Cygnus spacecraft that is to dock with the space station, providing 3,230 pounds of supplies and equipment. 

The launch is expected to be visible as far away as Hagerstown to the west, New York City to the north, and North Carolina's Outer Banks to the south. The public will be allowed to view the launch from the Wallops facility's visitors center starting at 6 p.m., and the launch will be broadcast online via NASA TV.

Stay tuned for mission updates by visiting Orbital's mission website or by following NASA Wallops on Twitter or on Facebook

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