We have liftoff!
After three days of weather delays and false pancake starts, Team Planet finally watched the fourth attempt and successful launch of twelve Flock 2e Doves aboard the Cygnus spacecraft. Since the company’s founding in 2010, a total of 113 Dove satellites have successfully reached orbit on six different launch vehicles over twelve launch campaigns.
At 4:44 pm ET, The Atlas V rocket launched the Cygnus spacecraft from Cape Canaveral to Low Earth Orbit.
Team Planet cooks traditional launch day pancakes
Astronaut Scott Kelly was one of the many viewers of the launch. He captured this image of the launch from onboard the ISS
A longer journey has just begun, however. After reaching Low Earth Orbit, Cygnus successfully deployed its solar arrays and began a two and a half day lateral pursuit of the International Space Station. The Cygnus will reach the ISS on Wednesday, December 9. Astronauts onboard the ISS will use the Canadarm to catch the Cygnus and unload its cargo. NASA TV will livestream the grappling and docking sequence. Flock 2e will then be loaded into the Japanese Kibo module and deployed from the ISS in early 2016.