Orbital Sciences Corporationís Antares Rocket is
designed to launch payloads up to 5000kg in low Earth orbit. It
was formerly called Taurus II. It will be used launch Cygnus
spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Orbital Sciences Antares Rocket
Antares is a two/three stage vehicle
medium-class launch system
that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads
weighing over 5000 kg.
The Antares will provide a major increase in the
payload launch capability that Orbital can provide to NASA, the U.S. Air Force
and other customers.
It is designed
to provide responsive, low-cost and reliable access to space. The
Antares was internally funded by Orbital Sciences. Antares
rocket will be used for the following 10 missions between 2013 and 2015:
(i) A risk reduction mission
(ii) A demonstration of
commercial re-supply services for the International Space Station (ISS)
under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS)
(iii) Eight Commercial Resupply Missions (CRS) to deliver
cargo to the ISS.
The rocket is powered by two NK-33 derived rocket engines. The program is financed
with the participation of NASA. As of April 2013 the United States bought around
40 engines from Russia.
Antares Rocket Specs:
Diameter: 3.9 m (12.8 ft)
Height: 40.5 m (133 ft)
Payload to LEO: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb)
Stages: 2 to 3.
1. Orbital Sciences Corporation: Prime integrator, systems engineering,
avionics, primary structure, testing and software. Overall Stage 1 development
2. KB Yuzhnoye/Yuzhmash: Stage 1 core design, production
3. Aerojet: Stage 1 engines
4. ATK: Stage 2 motor
In 2008, Ukraine's Pivdenne design bureau and Pivdenmash (both based in
Dnipropetrovsk) signed a long-term contract until 2019 with U.S. Orbital Science
Corporation to design and produce the first stage of the Taurus-II rocket (now
the Antares rocket) to deliver cargo to the ISS.
On October 1, 2012 Orbital Sciences Corporationís Antares rocket rolled out to
the launch pad at NASAís Wallops Flight Facility Over the next several
months, Orbital hot-fire tested the Antares first stage.
Orbital rolls its rocket out to launch pad
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced in mid October 2012 that it had
rescheduled the first mission to the International Space Station of its Cygnus
cargo spacecraft to the spring of 2013.
Orbital Sciences successfully tests AJ26 rocket engines at
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia on 22 February 2013.
Sciences successfully conducted an engine test of
its Antares rocket 22 February, 2013 from Mid-Atlantic
Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia,
It fired dual AJ26 rocket engines for approximately 30
seconds while the rocket was bolted down on the pad. Known as a 'hot fire' test, it demonstrated the readiness of the rocket's
first stage and launch pad fueling systems to support upcoming
A-ONE (2 stage vehicle)
Launch date: 21 April 2013.
Payload: Cygnus Mass Simulator, Dove 1, PhoneSat x3.
This was the
first launch of the new Antares medium-class space launch vehicle.
The Antares test flight was successful. This was the first of three launches of the new rocket
scheduled for 2013.
2. COTS Demo
Launch Date: 14 September , 2013
Payload: Cygnus 1
First Cygnus mission.
3. CRS Orb-1
Launch Date: 8 December, 2013
Payload: Cygnus 2
First Cygnus Cargo
Resupply Mission (CRS). First Antares launch to use the Castor 30B
4. CRS Orb-2
Launch Date: 2014
Payload: Cygnus 3
5. CRS Orb-3
Launch Date: 2014
Payload: Cygnus 4
6. CRS Orb-2
Launch Date: 2014
Payload: Cygnus 5
Did you know?
* Orbital Sciences Corporation is a USA company which specializes in the
manufacturing and launch of satellites.
* Cygnus Spacecraft is an unmanned re-supply spacecraft being developed by
Orbital Sciences Corporation as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation
Services (COTS) developmental program to deliver supplies to the International
Space Station following the retirement of the NASA's Space Shuttle in 2011.
Launch System (SLS): America's Next Manned Rocket for NASA Deep
Space Exploration to the Moon, Asteroids, Mars - Rocket Plans,
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