Orbital Sciences Would Conduct Extra Taurus II Flight With Extra COTS Funding

Artist's conception of Obital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II rocket set for launch at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Orbital plans Taurus 2 test flight with extra money
Spaceflight Now

The Taurus 2 rocket could be launched on a standalone test flight next summer if NASA provides supplemental funding for commercial cargo services, Orbital Sciences Corp. officials told investment analysts Thursday.

Orbital is designing the Taurus 2 rocket and Cygnus cargo freighter to deliver supplies to the International Space Station through 2015. The commercial resupply system is scheduled for its first test flight in the second quarter of next year, according to David Thompson, Orbital’s chairman and CEO.

The company currently plans to launch the Taurus 2 and Cygnus on a demonstration mission to berth with the space station.

The White House’s budget request for fiscal year 2011 includes a $312 million boost for the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstration program. Congress is taking up their budget bills this month.

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