Antares Rocket Will Launch Heaviest Payload to Date
Cygnus Spacecraft to Demonstrate Expanded Science Capabilities at
International Space Station
DULLES, Va.Nov. 10, 2017--
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, today announced it is set to launch the company s AntaresTM
rocket carrying its CygnusTM cargo spacecraft to the
International Space Station. Pending completion of final vehicle testing
and acceptable local weather conditions, the launch will take place
November 11 with lift-off scheduled for 7:37 a.m. EST from the
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A on Wallops Island, Virginia, at
NASA s Wallops Flight Facility.
Orbital ATK's Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft are set to launch the company's eighth cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. (Photo: Business Wire)
The mission, designated OA-8, will be Orbital ATK s eighth cargo
delivery mission for NASA. The Antares medium-class rocket will carry
its heaviest cargo load to date, approximately 7,400 pounds (3,350
kilograms) of vital supplies and scientific equipment that will support
the crew aboard the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft
is scheduled to rendezvous and berth with the station on November 13,
Orbital ATK names each Cygnus spacecraft in honor of astronauts and
individuals who contributed to the United States commercial space
program. The OA-8 mission honors former NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, who
passed away last January. Cernan, a veteran of one Gemini and two Apollo
missions, set records for both lunar surface extravehicular activities
and longest time in lunar orbit, paving the way for the future of human
Upon arrival at the space station, the S.S. Gene Cernan Cygnus will be
unloaded and utilized for the first time as an extension of the orbiting
laboratory for an experiment featuring the SpaceTango facility,
TangoLab. TangoLab is a reconfigurable general research facility
designed for microgravity research and development. This exercise will
demonstrate the ability to expand the station s capabilities for hosting
experiments using the Cygnus Module.
Cygnus will remain docked for approximately one month to allow the
astronauts aboard the space station to perform the transfer of the lab
to Cygnus and then back to the station where it will remain. Once Cygnus
is unberthed, a NanoRacks deployer will release 14 Cubesats, a record
number for the spacecraft. Upon completion of its secondary missions,
Cygnus will perform a safe, destructive reentry into Earth s atmosphere
over the Pacific Ocean.
Among the cargo is a student experiment sponsored by Orbital ATK in a
partnership with Higher Orbits, a Virginia-based non-profit, and its Go
For Launch! program. The high school team known as the Saguaro
Snakes from the Go For Launch! event in Gilbert,
Arizona, captured first place for an innovative science experiment that
studies the growth of peanut plants in space.
Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver
approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the
International Space Station. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will carry
out a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA s CRS-2 contract.
The partnership is cultivating a robust American commercial space
industry, freeing NASA to focus on developing the next-generation rocket
and spacecraft that will enable humans to conduct deep space exploration
Live coverage of the Antares launch and Cygnus berthing with the station
will be available on NASA Television at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Details about the mission can be viewed at http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/OA8-Mission-Page.
B-roll and animation footage for the mission can be found here: http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/bmc/#.
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About Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.
The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation
systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related
propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense
electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition;
satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced
aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK
employs approximately 13,000 people across the U.S. and in several
international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Antares Media Contact:
Launch Vehicles Division Public Relations
Vicki Cox, 410-409-8723
Space Systems Group
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor