Orbital ATK s Cygnus Spacecraft Named in Honor of Legendary Space
Industry Executive J.R. Thompson
Launch Will Take Place May 21 from NASA s Wallops Flight Facility
DULLES, Va.May 20, 2018--
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 for NASA. Pending completion of final
vehicle testing and acceptable local weather conditions, the launch will
take place Monday, May 21 with lift-off scheduled for 4:39 a.m. EDT 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 ninth cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. (Photo: Business Wire)
The mission, designated OA-9, will be Orbital ATK s ninth cargo delivery
mission for NASA. The Antares medium-class rocket will match its record
for the heaviest cargo load carried to date with 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 May
24, 2018. This mission marks the first flight for Cygnus s upgraded
communications system, known as Common Communication for Visiting
Vehicles (C2V2), which provides the opportunity for enhanced
communication with science payloads and an improved interface with
hosted payloads on future missions.
Orbital ATK names each Cygnus spacecraft in honor of astronauts and
individuals who contributed to the United States commercial space
program. The OA-9 mission honors J.R. Thompson, a distinguished leader
in the aerospace industry. Thompson helped shape the strategy and
directed the operations of Orbital ATK's predecessor company, Orbital
Sciences Corporation, for nearly 25 years. Before joining Orbital,
Thompson was NASA's Deputy Administrator in Washington, D.C., from 1989
to 1991, following a three-year period as Director of NASA's Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Upon arrival at the space station, the S.S. J.R. Thompson will be
unloaded and prepped for the next phase of its mission. Cygnus will
remain docked for approximately seven weeks to allow the astronauts
aboard the space station to repack the module with items that are no
longer needed on the orbiting laboratory. The removal of these objects
is a crucial step in keeping the International Space Station
operational. Once Cygnus is unberthed, a NanoRacks deployer will deploy
six cubesats. Upon completion of its secondary missions, Cygnus will
perform a safe, destructive reentry into Earth s atmosphere over the
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. To date Orbital ATK has delivered nearly
44,000 pounds (20,000 kilograms) and will complete its CRS-1 contract
with the OA-10 mission this fall and the OA-11 mission next year.
Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will carry out a minimum of six initial
cargo missions under NASA s CRS-2 contract. The commercial resupply
partnership with NASA is enhancing 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/live.
Details about the mission can be viewed at https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/OA9-Mission-Page/default.aspx
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 14,000 people across the U.S. and in several
international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Launch Vehicles Division Communications
Vicki Cox, 410-409-8723
Systems Group Communications
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
and Investor Relations