Antares Rocket Launched 7,400 Pounds of Critical Supplies to the
Cygnus Scheduled to Berth with Space Station on May 24
DULLES, Va.May 21, 2018--
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, successfully launched the company s AntaresTM
rocket carrying its CygnusTM spacecraft today at 4:44 a.m.
EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A on Wallops Island,
Virginia, at NASA s Wallops Flight Facility. The launch marks Orbital
ATK s ninth cargo mission for NASA.
Orbital ATK's Antares rocket launched the Company's Cygnus spacecraft carrying about 7,400 pounds of cargo for the International Space Station on May 21, 2018. (Photo: Business Wire)
The Antares medium-class rocket matched its record for the heaviest
cargo load carried to date with approximately 7,400 pounds (3,350
kilograms) of vital supplies and scientific equipment aboard Cygnus that
will be delivered to the crew aboard the International Space Station.
Following an approximate nine-minute ascent, the S.S. J.R. Thompson
Cygnus spacecraft, named in honor of J.R. Thompson, a distinguished
leader in the space industry, was successfully deployed into orbit.
Orbital ATK s engineering team confirmed reliable communications have
been established and the vehicle s solar arrays are fully deployed,
providing the necessary electrical power to operate the spacecraft.
Watching an Antares launch cargo to the International Space Station is
always impressive, said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK s Flight
Systems Group. The team works very hard to ensure each NASA commercial
resupply mission is successful.
Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 5:20 a.m. EDT on May 24. The
spacecraft will remain attached to the space station for approximately
seven weeks before departing with up to 7,100 pounds (approximately
3,200 kilograms) of disposal cargo. Cygnus s large-volume disposal
capability is unique among America s commercial cargo providers and a
critical service for NASA.
On this mission, Cygnus will also fly for the first time with an
upgraded communications system known as Common Communication for
Visiting Vehicles (C2V2). This new system provides Cygnus with the
capability for enhanced communication with science payloads and improved
interface with hosted payloads on future missions.
Orbital ATK is proud to once again support the crew on the
International Space Station by delivering valuable supplies, equipment
and science, said Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK s Space
Systems Group. The upgraded avionics and communication system on the
spacecraft demonstrate our commitment to increasing the flexibility and
versatility of Cygnus to carry a wide range of payloads. We are also
honored to name this mission after J.R. Thompson, a pioneer in the space
industry and someone who many of us here at Orbital ATK and in the NASA
community were honored to call a colleague and friend.
Once the S.S. J.R. Thompson unberths from the space station, a
NanoRacks deployer will release six cubesats. Upon completion of its
secondary missions, Cygnus will perform a safe, destructive reentry into
Earth s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver
approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the space
station. Beginning in 2019, the company will carry out a minimum of six
cargo missions under NASA s CRS-2 contract. This 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 missions.
The Cygnus system consists of a common service module and pressurized
cargo module (PCM). Orbital ATK builds and tests the service module at
its manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The company manufactures
several other Cygnus components at three facilities in California:
UltraFlexTM solar arrays in Goleta, composite structures in
San Diego and propellant tanks in Commerce. The PCM is provided by
industry partner Thales Alenia Space in Torino, Italy.
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
Trina Patterson, 480-814-6504
Space Systems Group Communications
Public and Investor Relations