Orbital ATK reported today that it is making good progress on its upgraded Antares rocket, which has been grounded since a catastrophic launch accident in October 2014.
- Parabolic Arc
- May 5, 2016
Orbital ATK has received the first two Russian-built RD-181 rocket engines for use in the company’s revamped Antares launch vehicle, the TASS news agency reports.
RSC Energia said the engines arrived in the United States on July 16 after being shipped from Russia the previous day. Energia is the managing organization for the engine’s manufacturer, NPO Energomash.
After the explosion of an Antares rocket in October, NASA left the investigation in the hands of the company’s that bands of the company that built and launched the rocket, Orbital Sciences Corporation (now Orbital ATK). Yesterday, we got the first official word on what that investigation has found. And it’s very confusing.
Orbital ATK Executive Vice President Ronald Grabe said during the 31st Space Symposium that the failure was caused by excessive wear in the bearings of a turbo pump for one of the two first-stage AJ-26 engines supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The 31st Space Symposium is taking place all week in Colorado Springs. It’s already generated some news, with ULA unveiling its new launch vehicle [here and here], Paul Allen demanding the company change the rocket’s name, and Rocket Lab showing off its electric motor.
I wasn’t able to attend this year, but I’ve been monitoring the events via Twitter. Today’s most interesting session appears to have been a launch vehicle panel that included Aerojet Rocketdyne, Arianespace, Blue Origin, Orbital ATK, SpaceX and ULA.
Orbital ATK will launch an upgraded version of its Antares launch vehicle next March with a full load of supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) next March without first conducting a qualification flight to test out the booster’s new first stage engines, officials announced this week.
Sometimes things can go so well for so long that we forget – or try not to remember – just how difficult some tasks can be to achieve. Like getting to space, for example.
That reality was driven home during three days in October when an expendable booster exploded in Virginia and an experimental space plane crashed in the Mojave Desert in California. This is the first of a multi-part series looking at these accidents and their impacts.
On Oct. 28, an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket exploded in spectacular fashion after takeoff from Wallops Island, Va. The rocket was carrying a Cygnus freighter bound for the International Space Station (ISS) under a contract with NASA.
I guess Orbital Sciences Corporation can kiss any defense launches goodbye for its Antares launch vehicle. The company plans to replace the rocket’s Russian surplus AJ-26 engines with new Russian engines they hope won’t blow up during flight or be banned from export at some point in the future. Designated the RD-181, the new engine will be used on Antares in shipsets of two to accommodate as closely as possible […]
Space News reports that investigators have zeroed in on the cause of a spectacular rocket failure at Wallops Island last month: Initial analysis of data from the Oct. 28 failure of an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket indicates that a turbopump in one of the two main engines on the rocket’s first stage malfunctioned seconds after liftoff, company executives said Nov. 5. “Current evidence strongly suggests that one of the […]
Mission Update – May 28, 2014
Via Orbital Sciences Corporation
Orbital has rescheduled the launch of its Antares rocket for the Orb-2 mission to a date of no earlier than (NET) June 17, 2014. Orb-2 is the second of eight cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station under Orbital’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.
NASASpaceflight.com reports on a failure of an AJ-26 engine during a static fire on Thursday: One of the AJ-26 engines set to launch with a future Antares rocket has failed during testing at the Stennis Space Center on Thursday. Sources claim the engine “exploded” on a Stand located in the E Complex at the famous rocket facility. The failure is currently under evaluation, although it may delay the next Antares […]