-- Company On Track for October Launch of Third CRS Mission in 2014 --
(Dulles, VA 18 August 2014) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The company also noted that it is nearing the launch of its third CRS mission of 2014, which is currently scheduled to take place in mid-October.
The Cygnus™ spacecraft that carried out the cargo delivery mission for the second CRS mission, known as “Orb-2,” unberthed from the ISS on August 15, completing a 31-day stay at the orbiting laboratory. Yesterday, Cygnus reentered Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand at approximately 9:15 a.m. (EDT) marking the successful conclusion of the Orb-2 mission.
“Orbital’s third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station concluded with the controlled reentry of Cygnus over the unpopulated expanses of the Pacific Ocean,” said Mr. Frank Culbertson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Orbital’s Advanced Programs Group. “From start to finish, we are very pleased with the results of this mission. Our team is proud to be providing essential supplies to the ISS crew so they can carry out their vital work in space. With three fully successful cargo delivery missions now complete, it is clear our public-private partnership with NASA is proving to be a positive asset to the productivity of the ISS. We are looking forward to the next Antares launch and the Cygnus cargo delivery mission that is coming up in about two months.”
The Orb-2 mission began on July 13 when Orbital’s Antares™ rocket launched Cygnus into orbit from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Eastern Virginia. Cygnus, which carried 3,669 pounds (1,664 kilograms) of cargo and science payloads, berthed with the ISS three days later on July 16. Prior to its departure from the station, the astronauts loaded the cargo module with approximately 3,550 pounds (1,615 kilograms) of items for disposal.
Under the CRS contract with NASA, Orbital is using Antares and Cygnus to deliver up to 44,000 pounds (20,000 kilograms) of cargo to the ISS over eight missions through late 2016. For these missions, NASA will manifest a variety of essential items based on ISS program needs, including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts and equipment, and scientific experiments.
Preparations are already well advanced for the next Cygnus cargo delivery flight, the Orb-3 mission, scheduled to take place in October. The Antares rocket is now undergoing final assembly and testing at Wallops Island, while the Cygnus spacecraft is being prepared for shipment from Orbital’s Dulles, VA production facilities to the Wallops launch site in September. The Orb-3 flight is expected to deliver its heaviest cargo manifest yet, with 5,050 pounds (2,290 kilograms) of cargo and payloads to be sent to the ISS.
Antares rocket launch from Wallops Island scheduled for October 24
Orbital Sciences Corp. and NASA announced Tuesday that an Antares rocket will launch from Wallops Flight Facility on October 24th on a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station.
The Orb-3 cargo delivery mission is the third under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.
The launch of the Orb-3 mission is now scheduled for October 24, 2014, with a targeted lift-off time of 7:52 p.m. (EDT) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), located at Wallops.
Antares Rocket Set to Launch from Wallops Oct. 27
The next Antares Rocket launch from Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore is scheduled for next week.
NASA says the rocket had been scheduled to be launched tomorrow (Friday), but has now been pushed back to Monday, October 27 after an inspection of a tracking station in Bermuda following Hurricane Gonzalo.
Antares is set to launch as 6:45 p.m. and will then meet-up with the International Space Station on November 2; the rocket will be packed with supplies for the ISS.
Quelle: Delaware News
Orbital CRS-3 Launch Scheduled for Oct. 27 Liftoff
On Monday evening a Cygnus spacecraft carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies, including science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware is scheduled to launch aboard an Antares rocket from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, bound for the International Space Station.
The launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s CRS-3 Commercial Resupply Services mission is scheduled for no earlier than 6:45 p.m. EDT aboard an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
Antares Erected at Pad; Mon. Forecast at 98% ‘Go’
Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, was raised into vertical position at launch Pad-0A, early on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The launch of Orbital’s CRS-3 Commercial Resupply Services mission is scheduled for no earlier than 6:45 p.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 27, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops. The latest forecast puts weather at 98-percent “go,” with the main concern being an extremely low chance of thick clouds.
The Antares rocket’s journey to the launch pad began on the evening of Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, shortly before 5 p.m. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Chris Perry
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
This photo shows the Antares rocket on the morning of Oct. 25 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch Pad-0A at Wallops. Credit: NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility/Joshua Murray
The Antares will launch with the Cygnus spacecraft filled with more than 5,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. The Orbital-3 mission is Orbital Sciences’ third contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA.
This mission is the third of eight Orbital flights NASA contracted with the company to resupply the space station, and the fourth trip by a Cygnus spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.
Orbital Set to Launch Cargo Delivery Mission to International Space Station
-- Mission Marks the Fifth Flight of Antares Rocket and Fourth Deployment of Cygnus Spacecraft --
(Dulles, VA 26 October 2014) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it is prepared to launch the company’s AntaresTM rocket carrying a CygnusTM cargo logistics spacecraft destined for the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Pending completion of final vehicle testing and acceptable local weather conditions, the launch of the Orb-3 mission will take place on Monday, October 27, with lift-off scheduled for 6:45 p.m. (EDT) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The Antares medium-class rocket will boost the Cygnus spacecraft into a targeted orbit of approximately 125 x 185 miles (200 x 300 kilometers) above the Earth, inclined at 51.6 degrees to the equator. Following in-orbit activation and testing after launch, Cygnus is slated to rendezvous and berth with the ISS on November 2. Live coverage of the Antares launch and Cygnus berthing with the ISS will be available on NASA Television.
“Orbital’s Antares rocket will be carrying a Cygnus spacecraft, the SS Deke Slayton, named for one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to his distinguished career as an astronaut, Deke was an early proponent of commercial space initiatives and helped establish the Commercial Space Launch Act in October of 1984. Fittingly, the SS Deke Slayton will be launching during the same month that this groundbreaking legislation was enacted thirty years ago.”
Under its $1.9 billion CRS contract with NASA, Orbital will use Antares and Cygnus to deliver up to 44,000 pounds (20,000 kilograms) of cargo to the ISS over eight missions through 2016. For each mission, NASA will manifest a variety of essential items based on ISS program needs, including food, clothing, crew supplies, spare parts and equipment, and scientific experiments.
For Orbital’s fourth mission to the space station, which includes the 2013 full demonstration mission, the Cygnus spacecraft is carrying 5,050 pounds (2,290 kilograms) of supplies to the Space Station, including science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 41 crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory, along with crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware. This mission will also feature Orbital’s first use of the upgraded Castor® 30XL second stage motor, which enables greater lift capacity for this and future missions.
Orbital privately developed the Antares launch vehicle to provide low-cost, reliable access to space for medium-class payloads. It is the largest and most complex rocket the company has ever produced. Under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) joint research and development initiative with NASA, Orbital also developed and demonstrated the Cygnus spacecraft, which is an advanced maneuvering vehicle that meets the stringent human-rated safety requirements for ISS operations. Together, these products showcase Orbital’s ability to apply rigorous engineering approaches and commercial business practices to significantly shorten development timelines and lower operational costs of sophisticated space systems as compared to traditional government-run programs.
The Antares medium-class launch vehicle represents a major increase in the payload launch capability that Orbital can provide to NASA, the U.S. Air Force and commercial customers compared to its heritage small-class space launch vehicles such as Pegasus and Minotaur. The Antares rocket can launch spacecraft weighing up to 14,000 lbs. (6,400 kg.) into low-Earth orbit, as well as lighter-weight payloads into higher-energy orbits. Orbital’s newest launcher has completed four successful missions and is currently on-ramped to both the NASA Launch Services-2 and the U.S. Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 contracts, enabling the two largest U.S. government space launch customers to order Antares for “right-size and right-price” launch services for medium-class spacecraft. For more information on Antares.
Orbital developed the Cygnus cargo spacecraft under a joint research and development program with NASA. Cygnus consists of a common Service Module (SM) and a Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM). The SM incorporates avionics, power, propulsion and communications systems already successfully flown aboard dozens of Orbital’s LEOStar™ and GEOStar™ satellites. The PCM, designed and built by Thales Alenia Space under a subcontract from Orbital, is based on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) previously used with the Space Shuttle. With a full load of cargo and fuel, the standard-configuration Cygnus weighs about 5,200 kilograms at launch and generates 3.5 kilowatts of electrical power while in orbit. It is capable of extended duration missions of a year or longer in space.
Update: LIVE NASA-TV
NASA rocket launch in Va. rescheduled
WASHINGTON, Sky watchers were supposed to be able to see NASA's Antares rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Monday night, however the launch was rescheduled until Tuesday due to a boat that was in the safety range area.
The launch has been rescheduled until Tuesday evening at 6:19 p.m., according to NASA television.
Tuesday night, sky watchers may be able to see NASA's Antares rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. A few minutes later they might also be able to see the International Space Station.
The rocket launch was supposed to occur at 6:45 p.m. Monday Meteorologist Howard Bernstein wrote on his Facebook page on Monday, "Great viewing of the SPACE STATION tonight for 6 minutes starting at 6:49. Moving NW to SE. "
According to NASA's blog post titled "How to View the CRS-3 Launch":
The Antares rocket will carry Orbital's Cygnus cargo spacecraft, loaded with some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments, to the International Space Station. CRS-3 (short for "Commercial Resupply Services") will be the fourth Cygnus flight, including a demonstration flight in 2013, and the first night launch of an Antares rocket.