Orbital Sciences Corporationís Antares Rocket is
designed to launch payloads up to 5000kg in low Earth orbit. It
will be used launch Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space
Station. It was formerly called Taurus II.
The Antares A-One launch has
been rescheduled for Saturday 20 April 2013.
Orbital Sciences Antares Rocket
Antares is a two-stage vehicle (with optional third stage)
that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads
weighing over 5,000 kg. It is designed
to provide responsive, low-cost and reliable access to space.
Internally funded by Orbital, Antares is
currently under development with a total of 10 missions planned
between 2013 and 2015: a risk reduction mission, a demonstration of
commercial re-supply services for the International Space Station (ISS)
under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS)
agreement, and eight Commercial Resupply Missions (CRS) to deliver
cargo to the ISS.
In 2013 Antares will conduct a
demonstration mission to deliver cargo to the International Space
Station (ISS) under the company's Commercial Orbital Transportation
Services (COTS) agreement with NASA. A fully operational Cygnus
spacecraft will be launched into orbit by Antares Rocket and
following an extensive series of in-orbit tests, it will
autonomously rendezvous and berth with the ISS. The first Cygnus
will deliver approximately 550 kg of cargo upon its arrival and will
remove about 1,000 kg of disposal cargo upon its departure from the
Orbital rolls its rocket out to launch pad
The rocket is powered by two NK-33-derived engines. The program will be financed
with the participation of NASA. As of April 2013 the United States bought around
40 engines from Russia.
The Antares medium-class launch system will provide a major increase in the
payload launch capability that Orbital can provide to NASA, the U.S. Air Force
and other customers.
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 (today
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 plans a hot-fire test of the Antares first stage, the maiden
flight of an Antares rocket, and a cargo delivery demonstration mission to the
International Space Station as part of NASAís Commercial Orbital Transportation
Services. Antares will carry Cygnus aloft on a demonstration mission to the
Orbital Sciences Antares Rocket
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced in mid October 2012 that it has
rescheduled the first mission to the International Space Station of its Cygnus
cargo spacecraft to the spring of 2013.
NASA commercial partner Orbital
Sciences of Dulles, Va., successfully conducted an engine test of
its Antares rocket Friday, February 22, 2013 from Mid-Atlantic
Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Va.
The company 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
The first launch of the new
Antares medium-class space launch vehicle, built for delivering
cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) by U.S. Orbital
Science Corp as a part of international cooperation with the
participation of Ukraine, is currently scheduled for April 17.
This will be the first of three launches of the new rocket
scheduled for 2013.
The launch will be made from
the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops
Flight Facility. The goal of the mission is to launch and deliver
a simulated payload to a target orbit of 250 km x 300 km with an
inclination of 51.6 degrees.
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. 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.