Orbital ATK Antares Launch Operations Return to NASA S Wallops Flight
S.S. Alan Poindexter Cygnus Spacecraft Operating as Planned Early
in Mission; Arrival at International Space Station Scheduled for Oct. 23
DULLES, Va.Oct. 17, 2016--
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense
technologies, successfully launched its AntaresTM rocket
carrying a CygnusTM spacecraft today at 7:45 p.m. EDT,
marking its return to flight operations from NASA Wallops Flight
Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch is Orbital ATK s sixth
cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
During the mission, designated OA-5, Cygnus will deliver vital
equipment, supplies and experiments to astronauts aboard the space
station, as well as conduct scientific experiments onboard Cygnus
following undocking from the space station.
Today s success is a credit to the dedication and hard work of the
Orbital ATK employees who support our Antares and Cygnus programs, said
Dave Thompson, Orbital ATK CEO. They worked many long hours to
successfully execute a plan that enabled us to continue to deliver cargo
for NASA while implementing several upgrades to our Antares rocket.
The Antares medium-class rocket launched approximately 5,300 pounds
(2,400 kilograms) of cargo to the crew of six that will be aboard the
space station later this week. Following a nine-minute ascent, the S.S.
Alan Poindexter spacecraft, named in honor of the late astronaut, was
successfully deployed into orbit. Orbital ATK s engineering team
confirmed that reliable communications have been established and that
the vehicle s solar arrays are fully deployed, providing the necessary
electrical power to operate the spacecraft.
The Antares team has worked tirelessly over many months to prepare for
this launch, said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK s Flight Systems
Group. Congratulations to the entire Orbital ATK and NASA team on a
Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK s Space Systems Group, added,
As a company headquartered in Virginia, we are proud to again launch
from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA s Wallops Flight
Facility. We are well prepared to continue delivering essential cargo to
the International Space Station for years to come.
Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 7:05 a.m. EDT on Oct. 23. The
spacecraft will remain attached to the International Space Station for
approximately one month before departing with roughly 3,700 pounds
(1,700 kilograms) of disposable cargo for a safe, destructive reentry
into Earth s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Cygnus large-volume and
pressurized disposal cargo capability, a critical service to NASA, is
unique among America s commercial cargo providers.
For the current Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission, Cygnus is
carrying the Saffire II payload experiment to study combustion behavior
in microgravity, further demonstrating its versatility in conducting
science experiments in space. Data from this experiment will be
downloaded via telemetry. In addition, a NanoRacks deployer will release
Spire Cubesats used for weather forecasting. These secondary payload
operations will be conducted after Cygnus departs the space station.
Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver
approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the space
station through 2018. NASA will manifest a variety of essential items
based on space station program needs, including food, clothing, crew
supplies, spare parts, laboratory equipment and scientific experiments.
Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will carry out a minimum of six initial
cargo missions under NASA s recently awarded 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
The Cygnus system consists of a common service module and pressurized
cargo module (PCM). The service module was built and tested at Orbital
ATK s manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia. The enhanced Cygnus
also uses Orbital ATK s UltraFlexTM solar arrays, which are
the latest in lightweight, space-qualified, electrical power technology.
Orbital ATK manufactured the arrays and composite structures at its
Goleta and San Diego, California, facilities, and the propellant tanks
for the Cygnus spacecraft at its Commerce, California, site.
The upgraded Antares rocket includes new RD-181 engines from Energomash,
a core designed by Yuzhnoye and manufactured by Yuzhmash, as well as the
Castor 30XL solid rocket motor second stage that is manufactured at
Orbital ATK s facility in Magna, Utah.
B-roll and animation footage for the mission can be found here:
Please note that media will need to request a PIN for access.
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 12,000 people in 18 states across the U.S. and in
several international locations. For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.
Source: Orbital ATK
Trina Helquist, 801-699-0943
Vehicles Division Public Relations
Public and Investor Relations
Vicki Cox, 410-409-8723
Space Systems Group Public