Space

April 25, 2012

Orbital Sciences’ Antares passes fit check

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer
Image courtesy of Orbital Sciences Corp.
Artist rendering of a Antares Launch.

Orbital Sciences Corp. is working hard and fast to get its Antares booster rocket and Cygnus cargo supply capsule flight tested this year.

They have a milestone coming up under their Commercial Orbital Transportation Services agreement with NASA.

But CEO David Thomson told financial analysts April 20 that the first flight of Antares rocket with the Cygnus ISS cargo capsule has slipped again and is not likely to occur before October or November.

He said the certification of the Wallops Island, Va., Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport and its propellant-handling facilities is proceeding without major incident, and that the launch pad should be turned over to Orbital by mid-June.

A test firing of the Antares rocket’s first stage is now scheduled for early July. The rocket will make its inaugural flight, without the Cygnus cargo carrier, in August under the new schedule. The Antares/Cygnus launch would then occur in October or November 2012.

Last week, Antares was erected on its launch pad, and fit tested. After the first hot-fire testing of the new rocket in July, it will be returned to the processing building while work preparing the propellant-delivery systems at the pad is completed. After the hot-fire test, the second Antares vehicle will then be launched to fulfill a milestone under COTS.

MARS is located on NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility. It is actually owned by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority. In cooperation with NASA, it offers full-service launch facilities for commercial, government, scientific and academic users both foreign and domestic.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft stays course to Pluto

Images courtesy of NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Fourth Lockheed Martin-built MUOS secure comm satellite shipped

Lockheed Martin photograph On June 28, MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, shipped to Cape Canaveral from Lockheed Martin’s satellite manu...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

NASA’s Chandra captures x-ray echoes pinpointing distant neutron star

Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the...
 

 

Veteran NASA spacecraft nears 60,000th lap around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001. Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on Oct. 23, 2001. On Dec. 15, 2010, it...
 
 
nasa-study

NASA selects six wild ideas in aviation for further study

NASA has selected six proposals to study transformative ideas that might expand what’s possible in aviation, shifting the boundary between fantastic and futuristic. During a day-long meeting in April, 17 teams pitched the...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA signs agreement with Space Florida to operate historic landing facility

NASA photograph This aerial photo of the runway at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility looks north. Longer and wider than most commercial runways, it is 15,000 feet long, with 1,000-foot paved overruns on each end, and 300 feet wi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>