Space

September 18, 2013

Orbital successfully launches Cygnus spacecraft aboard Antares rocket

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Sept. 18 that it successfully launched its Antares rocket carrying the company’s Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft into its intended orbit.

The successful launch marked the beginning of a four-day in-orbit capabilities demonstration mission that will culminate in rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station Sept. 22.  Cygnus will deliver approximately 1,500 pounds of cargo and remain attached to the ISS for 30 days before departing with up to 1,750 pounds of disposal cargo.

Lift-off of Orbital’s Antares rocket occurred at approximately 10:58 a.m., EDT, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.  Following a 10-minute ascent, the Cygnus spacecraft was successfully deployed by the Antares upper stage and placed into its intended orbit of about 180 x 160 miles above the Earth, inclined at 51.6 degrees to the equator. Approximately 20 minutes later, Orbital’s Cygnus engineers confirmed that reliable communications had been established and that the solar arrays were fully deployed, providing the necessary electrical power to command the spacecraft.

“We are very pleased with the early operations of the COTS demonstration mission, beginning with another on-the-mark launch by Antares.  The Cygnus spacecraft appears to be fully healthy and operating as expected during this early phase of its mission,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Over the next few days, our Cygnus team, together with our NASA partners, will conduct an extensive series of in-orbit tests to verify the performance of the spacecraft before attempting the rendezvous and berthing operations with the space station.  There is clearly still a lot of work in front of us, but the mission looks like it is off to a great start.”

This demonstration flight is the final milestone in Orbital’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services joint research and development initiative with NASA.  Under COTS, NASA and Orbital developed Cygnus, which meets the stringent human-rated safety requirements for ISS operations.  Orbital privately developed the Antares launch vehicle to provide low-cost, reliable access to space for medium-class payloads. Together, these elements are being used for the demonstration flight of Orbital’s commercial resupply capability to the ISS.

Pending the successful completion of the COTS program, Orbital will begin regularly scheduled cargo delivery missions to the ISS under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.  Under the CRS contract, Orbital will deliver approximately 20,000 kilograms of cargo to the ISS over eight missions through 2016.  For these missions, NASA will manifest a variety of essential items based on ISS program needs, including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts and equipment, and scientific experiments.




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 3, 2015

News Carter To China: US ‘Will Fly, Sail, Operate Wherever Law Allows’ Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech billed as all about a new personnel approach for the Pentagon, laid out a clear line in the sand of the temporary islands the Chinese have been building. http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/carter-to-china-us-will-fly-sail-operate-wherever-law-allows/ LRS-B details emerge: Major t...
 
 

News Briefs September 3, 2015

Soldier injured after parachute failed to deploy A soldier was injured during a U.S. Army Special Operations parachute training exercise in western Montana. Army officials at Fort Bragg, N.C., say 16 soldiers were conducting a free-fall parachute jump from two Blackhawk helicopters near Hamilton Aug. 31 when one soldier had an equipment malfunction and was...
 
 

Boeing, Jet2.com finalize order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s

Boeing and UK Leisure Airline Jet2.com have finalized an order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s, valued at approximately $2.6 billion at current list prices. Jet2.com currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of nearly 60 aircraft; however, this is the organization’s first direct Boeing order.† The aircraft will be used to take the company’s package holiday and...
 

 
boeing-emirates

Boeing, Emirates celebrate airline’s 150th 777 delivery

Boeing and Emirates Airline Sept. 3 celebrated the simultaneous delivery of three 777s — two 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter — marking the entry of the 150th 777 into Emirates’ fleet. The delivery marks the first tim...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Chromalloy for F108 gas turbine engine module repairs

Chromalloy announced Sept. 2 that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide repairs on low pressure turbine modules for the F108 aircraft engine fleet, in a contract valued at up to $74 million. The one-year agreement was contracted by the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and includes four one-year options...
 
 
raytheon-colorado

Raytheon expanding in Colorado Springs

Raytheon will speed up growth of its Colorado Springs presence after signing a $700 million multi-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to support operations at NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Under the...
 




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>