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Antares A-ONE mission was the first launch of Orbital Science's' new Antares medium-class space launch vehicle. It was launched on 21 April 2013 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

Antares Rocket First Flight Picture

Antares Rocket First Flight


The test flight was the first launch from the pad at Wallops and was the first flight of Antares, which delivered the equivalent mass of a spacecraft, a so-called mass simulated payload, into Earth's orbit.

The aim of the A-ONE mission was to demonstrate the operational Antares launch system, from roll-out of the rocket from its integration facility, through emplacement on the pad and fueling, to launch and delivery a simulated payload to a target orbit of 250 km x 300 km with an inclination of 51.6 degrees.

The launch was made from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. The A-ONE launch was broadcast on NASA TV.

Payloads

The main payload was the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS). It had a a mass of 3,800 kg (8,400 pounds) with a height of 5,061 mm (199.25 inches) and a diameter of 2,900 mm (114 inches).

The secondary payloads were four CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS: Three PhoneSats, built by NASA's Ames Research Center. Dove-1, built by Cosmogia Inc carried a 'technology development Earth imagery experiment' using the Earth's magnetic field for attitude control.

Antares A-ONE Mission Emblem

Antares A-ONE Mission Emblem


History

AeroSpaceGuide began Event Coverage on Tuesday 16 April, 2013 at 4pm GMT. Set up 'First Antares Rocket Launch Event' page on Tuesday 16 April, 2013.

Launch Attempt on Wednesday 17 April.

Orbital scrubbed Wednesday's planned launch of its Antares vehicle because of a premature separation of an umbilical connection on the second stage. Next attempt was set for Friday 19 April.

Launch Attempt on Friday 19 April.

Friday's attempt was scrubbed in anticipation of bad weather. Another launch opportunity was available on Sunday.

Launch Attempt on Saturday 20 April.

Excessive wind levels caused mission managers to delay Saturday's launch attempt of the Antares rocket. The high-altitude wind speeds exceeded range safety restrictions. Launch was re-scheduled for Sunday 21 April at 5 pm EDT.

Antares Launches Successfully on Sunday 21 April.

Orbital Sciences launches its Antares rocket at 5:00 pm EDT from the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Following this launch, Orbital will carry out a full flight demonstration of its new Antares/Cygnus cargo delivery system to the International Space Station (ISS) around mid-year 2013.

Antares A-ONE Rocket Near Beach Picture

Antares A-ONE Rocket Near Beach


Did you know?

* This is the first of three launches of the new rocket scheduled for 2013.

Following this launch, Orbital will carry out a full flight demonstration of its new Antares/Cygnus cargo delivery system to the International Space Station (ISS) around September 2013. In addition, the company is also scheduled to launch the first of eight operational cargo resupply missions to the ISS in late 2013 under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.

 * Facts / Info:

1. Antares Rocket is an expendable launch system being developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation.
2. Antares was known in early development as Taurus II,
3. The first stage uses RP-1 (kerosene) and liquid oxygen (LOX) as propellants, powering two NK-33-derived engines.
4. The second stage is a solid, the Castor 30, developed by ATK as a derivative of the Castor 120 solid stage.
5. Height 40.5 m (133 ft), Diameter 3.9 m (12.8 ft).


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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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