Friday, January 7, 2011

Date set for Orbital's COTS mission

NASA has set Dec. 14 as the target launch date for Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Commercial Orbital Transportation System cargo demonstration mission. The company says it continues to make progress toward attaining safety clearance for the mission, in which its Cygnus spacecraft will dock with the International Space Station. Tests of the Aerojet AJ26 engine that will power the first stage also continue at NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss., where engineers are preparing for a third hot-fire test of the engine following earlier runs in November and December. "Every month we'll be bringing another AJ26 through Stennis," said Carl Walz, Orbital's vice president of human spaceflight operations. (Source: Aviation Week, 01/06/11)