Monday, April 22, 2013

Orbital Science's Successful Launch Of It's First Antares Rocket

Designed to provide responsive, low-cost, and reliable access to space, Antares is a two-stage vehicle (with optional third stage) that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads weighing over 5,000 kg. Internally funded by Orbital, Antares is currently under development with a total of 10 missions under contract beginning in 2013: a risk reduction mission, a demonstration of commercial re-supply services for the International Space Station (ISS) under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement, and eight Commercial Resupply Missions (CRS) to deliver cargo to the ISS. The Antares launch system utilizes Orbital's proven MACH avionics system and many management approaches, engineering standards, production and test processes common to Orbital’s family of highly successful small-class Pegasus®, Taurus®, and Minotaur launch vehicles. These proven launch technologies, along with hardware from one of the world’s leading launch vehicle integrators, combine to provide cost-effective access to a variety of orbits for civil, commercial and military medium-class payloads.

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