With tonight’s launch of the OA-5 mission, Orbital ATK’s Antares launch vehicle has resumed operations following a two-year stand down. The OA-5 launch brings 2,400kg of crew provisions, scientific experiments, EVA supplies, and vehicle hardware to the astronauts living and working aboard the International Space Station.
This three-minute exposure shows the launch and flight of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket, bearing the OA-5 Cygnus resupply freighter to the International Space Station. Photo credit: Jared Haworth / We Report Space
The Cygnus capsule launched tonight was the third flight of the Enhanced Pressurized Cargo Module (Enhanced PCM) variant, capable of carrying up to 3,500 kg of cargo to Low Earth Orbit. The two prior missions using the Enhanced PCM were launched on ULA’s Atlas V vehicle in December 2015 and March 2016. The OA-5 mission marks the first time Antares has launched the Enhanced PCM.
Cygnus will remain in a “loitering” orbit near the ISS, waiting for the next Russian Soyuz launch to bring the crew complement back up to six astronauts later this week, and is planned to berth with the ISS on Sunday, October 23rd.
From the Ashes
The last time an Antares rocket lifted off from MARS launchpad 0A ...