Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Space Station Schedule May Delay Antares Return to Flight |

PASADENA, Calif. — While Orbital ATK says it is on schedule to have the new version of its Antares launch vehicle ready for flight in March, the vehicle’s first launch may be delayed by other missions to the International Space Station, including a Cygnus cargo spacecraft launching on an Atlas 5.

“Our initial launch capability for the re-engined Antares is scheduled for March of 2016,” said Mark Pieczynski, vice president of strategy and business development for Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, in a panel session at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space 2015 conference here Sept. 1.

Pieczynski said work replacing the AJ-26 engines previously used on the first stage of the Antares with RD-181 engines was on schedule. That effort, he said, includes a static fire test of the vehicle on the pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia planned for January.

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