Orbital Science Antares Launch


Update 4-21

Update 4-20

The launch of Orbital’s Antares rocket on Saturday, April 20, 2013 was scrubbed due to high upper level winds. The launch team will attempt another launch on Sunday April 21 with a window extending from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm EDT. NASA TV and webcaset launch coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on www.NASA.gov – -Orbital Science

Update 4-18 – 

Orbital has determined that the next launch attempt for the new Antares rocket will be no earlier than Saturday, April 20, at 5:00 p.m. The mission management team met this afternoon to evaluate weather forecasts and optimum crew work schedules to provide two back-to-back opportunities for a launch attempt.

Weather conditions deteriorate on Friday, April 19, but improve significantly over the next two days increasing the chances for acceptable conditions at launch time. This also allows the Antares launch team a day of rest before back-to-back opportunities on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21. -Orbital Science

UPDATE 4-17 4:48pm – Launch Aborted for day. Premature separation of umbilical to second stage.

Orbital announced that the Antares team has developed a go-forward plan to address the umbilical disconnect issue that resulted in the April 17 launch scrub. The program is currently working toward the next launch attempt on Friday, April 19 at 5 p.m. EDT, weather permitting.- Orbital Science


LIVE COVERAGE of launch begins at 4 PM Eastern on NASA TV

Orbital Science is set to launch the Antares rocket on April 17th at 5 pm. The Launch will take place at Wallops Flight Center on the coast of Virginia. This will be the maiden voyage of the Antares rocket which is set to compete with SpaceX . The flight is part of the  NASA COTS agreement. Orbital Science describes the Antares rocket:

“Antares is a two-stage launch vehicle designed to provide responsive, low-cost, and reliable access to space for medium-class payloads weighing up to 6120 kg. Currently under development to demonstrate commercial re-supply of the International Space Station under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract, the Antares launch system utilizes 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 some of the world’s leading aerospace suppliers, combine to provide cost-effective access to a variety of orbits for civil, commercial and military Delta II-class payloads.” – Orbital Science

Unfortunately the weather may delay things:

“There is a 45 percent chance of favorable weather at the time of launch. Low clouds are the primary concern for a weather violation. If needed, back-up launch opportunities are available April 18-21.” -NASA

Graphic credit: NASA

Graphic credit: NASA

More Info on Antares

Orbital Science Link

NASA Orbital Science Link

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2 Responses to Orbital Science Antares Launch

  1. Pingback: Orbital’s Antares rocket begins testing | The Rocketry Blog

  2. Debra says:

    wish I could look for it in the sky at launch but too many big buildings where I’ll be at 5pm

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