ORBITAL ANTARES ROCKET W’ CYGNUS “C. Gordon Fullerton” READY TO SUPPLY THE ISS: GO ORB-1!
Photo Credit: NASA of Orbital Sciences Cygnus Spacecraft as part of ORB-D1 Mission: CLICK photo to view larger size and see below for info and related mission links to include where to stream live and where you can potentially watch the launch from if you reside on the East Coast of the United States.
On Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 2142 EST (0242 UTC on the 19th) from Launch Pad-0A (LP-0A) at Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Virginia; Orbital Sciences will be launching Cygnus Spacecraft named “C. Gordon Fullerton” atop an Antares rocket as part of CRS-1 (NASA classification) or ORB-1 (Orbital Sciences classification). This will be Orbitals second overall flight to the International Space Station (ISS) but this is the first official resupply mission as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) initiative.
After free-drift the spacecraft will be grappled via the Canada-Arm and berthed to the Harmony Module of the ISS where it will remain for approximately six months before being loaded with waste and released to disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere.
CYGNUS SPACECRAFT = Expendable, unmanned, pressurized cargo re-supply spacecraft built by Thales Alenia of Italy. Its 3.6 meters (11.8ft) in length, 3 meters (9.8ft) in diameter and has a pressurized volume of 18.9 cubic meters. CYGNUS Fact Sheet: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Cygnus_fact.pdf
ANTARES ROCKET = Formerly known as Taurus II, the newly renamed Antares Launch Vehicle is a 2 stage medium-lift rocket (with optional 3rd stage). It stands 40.5 meters (132.8ft) high and is 3.9 meters (12.9ft) in diameter. The (1-2-0) numbering system for Antares goes as follows: 1) Two standard AJ26-62 first stage engines. 2) Castor 30B second stage engine. 0) Third stage not utilized.
ANTARES Brochure: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Antares_Brochure.pdf. ANTARES Fact Sheet: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Antares_fact.pdf
MAIN PAYLOAD FAIRING = Two-shell composite 9.9 meters (32.5ft) high and 3.9 meters (12.8ft) in diameter.
OPTIONAL THIRD STAGE = There are two optional third stage variations; the STAR 48BV and the Bi-Propellant Third Stage (BTS). Neither of these will be used during this flight.
SECOND STAGE = 4.2 meters (13.8ft) in height and 2.3 meters (7.5) in diameter. It’s powered by a single ATK Castor 30B (CASTOR 120 Heritage) solid fueled engine with thrust vectoring capability that burns for 127 seconds.
FIRST CORE/BOOST STAGE = is 27.6 meters (90.5ft) in height and 3.9 meters (12.8ft) in diameter and is powered by 2 AeroJet AJ26-62 engines which are actually converted Russian NK-33 engines, YES, the same engines that were going to fly the massive Soviet N1 Moon Rocket off of the Earth’s surface and on to the Moon. They are liquid fueled, burning Liquid Oxygen / Rocket Propellant-1 Kerosene (LOX/RP-1) and burn for 235 seconds.
GO ANTARES – GO CASTOR – GO CYGNUS & GO ORB-1!!!!
Orbital Sciences Orb-1 Mission Page: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/Orb-1/
Antares/Cygnus Updates: http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
Orbital Sciences Twitter: https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences
LOCATIONS WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE LAUNCH YOURSELF! http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/Orb-1/LaunchViewingMaps/index.shtml
Orbital Sciences COTS PDF Fact Sheet: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/COTSCRS_Fact.pdf
Spaceflight 101 Cygnus data page: http://www.spaceflight101.com/cygnus-spacecraft-information.html
Orbital Antares Launch Vehicle Page: http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Antares/
Spaceflight 101 Antares rocket data page: http://www.spaceflight101.com/antares-launch-vehicle-information.html
Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS): http://www.marsspaceport.com/