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OA-5 to Debut Upgraded Antares

16 Oct 2016, 16:08 UTC
OA-5 to Debut Upgraded Antares
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Orbital ATK’s OA-5 mission, currently scheduled to launch between 8:03 – 8:08pm on Sunday, October 16, will be that company’s first flight of the upgraded Antares launch vehicle. Dubbed “Antares 230,” this rocket uses a pair of NPO Energomash RD-181 main engines to power its first stage, and a Castor 30XL solid rocket booster as its second stage, putting the Cygnus spacecraft into an orbit to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).
The road to OA-5
Workers on MARS Launchpad 0A are dwarfed by the upgraded Antares 230 rocket (click the photo for a larger view). Photo credit: Andrew Albosta / We Report Space
The last flight of Antares, Orbital Sciences Corporation’s ORB-3 mission to the ISS, ended in failure just seconds into the launch, due to an anomaly with the Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-26 engines previously used on the rocket.
Following the ORB-3 explosion, Virginia Commercial Space Authority, in conjunction with both Orbital ATK and NASA, undertook an 11 month, fifteen million dollar effort to rebuild and upgrade launchpad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, the cost being shared among those three partners.
Prior to launch, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility hosted a pre-launch briefing with representatives from Johnson Space ...

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