Sunday, April 7, 2013

Orbital rolls out Antares rocket

Orbital Sciences rolled out the first fully integrated Antares rocket from its assembly building at NASAs Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia Saturday in preparation for its inaugural flight slated for April 17 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The Antares test flight, the A-ONE mission, is the first of two Orbital is scheduled to conduct in 2013 under its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Space Act Agreement with NASA. Following a successful A-ONE launch, Orbital will carry out a full flight demonstration of its new Antares/Cygnus cargo delivery system to the International Space Station around mid-year. (Source: Orbital Sciences Corp., 04/06/13) Gulf Coast note: The Aerojet AJ26 rocket engines that power Antares are tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The latest test was April 4. That engine will be shipped to Wallops for an upcoming Commercial Resupply Services mission.