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April 15-21, 2013 / Vol 32, No 15 / Hawai`i Island, USA

12 Apr 2013, 20:41 UTC
April 15-21, 2013 / Vol 32, No 15 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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OSC Antares / Cygnus Demo Launch Advances USA Space Sectors

The first flight of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket is scheduled for April 17 between 17:00 – 20:00 EDT from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, USA. This A-One Test Launch Mission with a Cygnus mass simulator aims to validate the medium-class launch system and gather flight data. After liftoff the first stage will fire for about 4 minutes carrying the craft to a 113-km altitude where the upper stack will separate and continue on its upward trajectory for 93 seconds. Then the 2nd stage will fire for over 2 minutes bringing the payload to a 256-km altitude. OSC is working toward 8 commercial ISS resupply flights under a US$1.9B NASA contract. Its COTS demonstration mission, tentatively scheduled for June, will have the spacecraft berth with the ISS and deliver about 731 kg of cargo. A Castor 30B upper stage will help deliver 2,000 kg of cargo for the first 2 Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions. OSC will upgrade to a Castor 30XL capable of delivering 2,700 kg for the final 6 flights. CRS contracts are successfully creating efficient and affordable means for America to resupply the ISS, boosting economic growth ...

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