View Full Version : NASA Targets ‘Return to Flight’ of Upgraded Antares for mid- October for Station Resu

2016-Sep-22, 04:00 AM
NASA is targeting mid-October for the ‘Return to Flight’ launch of the upgraded Orbital ATK Antares rocket on a cargo mission to resupply the International Space Station. In light of the grounding of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cargo flights following the catastrophic Sept.1 launch pad disaster, this Orbital ATK mission becomes more critical than ever to keep that station stocked and fully operational for the resident crews.
NASA and Orbital ATK announced that the re-engined Antares will launch during a five-day launch window that opens no earlier than October 9-13, 2016 on the OA-5 Cygnus cargo mission from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern shore.
“A more specific date will be identified upon completion of final operational milestones and technical reviews,” according to statements from NASA and Orbital ATK.
If Antares launches on Oct. 9, liftoff is set 10:47 p.m. EDT and becomes progressively earlier on succeeding days. The launch time moves up to 9:13 p.m. EDT on Oct. 13.
If the launch takes place during this window, it will mark the first truly nighttime launch for Antares from Virgina.
“The arrival and berthing of Cygnus to the International Space Station will be determined by the exact launch date and in coordination with other space station activities,” says NASA.
For the OA-5 mission, the Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft will carry approximately 2,400 kg (5,290 lbs.) of supplies and science experiments for the International Space Station (ISS).
Under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver approximately 28,700 kilograms of cargo to the space station. OA-5 is the sixth of these missions.
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