Wallops Island, VA – The early morning calm along Virginia’s Eastern Shore was shattered Sunday morning, November 12, 2017, as the Orbital ATK Antares 230 launch vehicle thundered off the launchpad, sending the Cygnus cargo freighter carrying OA-8E on its journey to the International Space Station.
Daytime streak of the Antares OA-8E mission carrying a Cygnus module to the International Space Station. 1 single exposure using a ND10 filter, F22, 80seconds (bulb) at 200 ISO. Photo credit: Andrew Albosta / We Report Space
OA-8E: The Extended Mission
Orbital ATK’s contract with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station has flown under a number of mission designations. Originally, the contract was awarded to Orbital Sciences Corporation, prior to their merger with Alliant Technosystems (ATK) forming the current company. Early missions were flown under the ORB-# syntax, ending with the catastrophic ORB-3 mission, which was lost on ascent in October 2014.
Post-merger, Orbital ATK’s missions flew with an OA-# prefix, beginning with OA-4 in December 2015, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 atop an Atlas V rocket, provided by United Launch Alliance. Mission and launch vehicle shuffles resulted in the OA-6 mission being flown ...