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Scott Manley's video The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station includes some file footage of Antares rocket launches.

There is a long black tube or cable snaking its way up to the capsule payload that disconnects only at the actual launch.

What is it and what is it's function?

The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station

The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station GIF

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    $\begingroup$ This is only a guess so am not going to put it down as an answer. I'm wondering if it is some sort of forced air cooling duct to keep the payload below some maximum temperature that might otherwise be exceeded in the Florida sunshine and heat. $\endgroup$ – Milwrdfan Jun 7 '19 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Milwrdfan I would be surprised if you are not correct. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 8 '19 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Milwrdfan while I don't see live animals in the manifest there could certainly be some temperature sensitive items there. At the bottom of that article there's a high-resolution image that seems to back up your hypothesis as well: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 8 '19 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ Note however: launches from Wallops, not Florida. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 8 '19 at 9:45
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In this closeup, it's pretty obvious this is an air hose. They are routinely used to control the temperature inside the fairing.

enter image description here

Here's a similar system on a Vega rocket (for the LISA Pathfinder launch):

enter image description here

LISA Pathfinder, ready for launch. In this image, taken with an ultra-wide angle fisheye lens on November 19, the spacecraft is hidden from view, encapsulated in the ‘upper composite’ of its Vega rocket. Only the aerodynamic fairing at the top of the fully assembled launcher is visible, while the lower stages are hidden by the movable access platform. The hose is part of the air conditioning system that regulates the environment inside the fairing.

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