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Raumfahrt - Antares geht an den Start / 3.Versuch am Sonntag

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2.10.2012

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Both of NASA’s commercial space resupply companies are gearing up for launches this week. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have contracts with NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station over the coming years, though each is at a different stage of the process.
Today, Orbital Sciences is rolling out its Antares rocket for the first time to the launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s coast. The company recently received approval to operate on the launch pad from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport that manages the launch facility. The Antares rocket builds upon Orbital Sciences family of rockets and uses surplus engines from the former Soviet Union that have been modified and converted by Aerojet. The Antares will boost the Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS.
Wallops Island is not as well known as other launch facilities such as Cape Canaveral in Florida, but the facility has been operating since 1945 and more than 16,000 rocket launches have taken place there. Most of the rockets have been much smaller, including countless research rockets designed to gather atmospheric information. The launch pads are next to the ocean, just a few dozen yards from the beach.
Orbital Sciences is a veteran of the space industry and will be using Wallops Island for its upcoming Commercial Orbital Transportation Services test flights as well as ongoing resupply missions once they have received approval from NASA. The company hopes to make its first test flight before the end of the year, and has numerous rocket launches under its belt, including small air-launched rockets as well as larger traditional rockets delivering satellites to orbit.
Further south at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX was busy over the weekend with the static fire test of its Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to make its first contracted commercial cargo trip to the ISS on Sunday. During the test at Launch Complex 40 in Florida, the Falcon 9 successfully fired its nine Dragon Merlin engines on Saturday. The SpaceX team went through the entire launch process as if it were a normal launch and while firmly locked to the ground, the Falcon 9 engines went to full power for two seconds before being shut down.
The SpaceX team is currently reviewing the data from the static fire, and if everything looks good the company will launch at 8:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Should something cause a delay, SpaceX has backup launch times on Monday and Tuesday.
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Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket rolled out to the launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the morning of Oct. 1, 2012. Over the next several months, Orbital plans a hot-fire test of the Antares first stage, the maiden flight of an Antares rocket, and a cargo delivery demonstration mission to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. 
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Update: 4.04.2013
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Media Invited to NASA Commercial Partner New Rocket Rollout April 6
 
 
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- News media are invited to cover the scheduled Saturday, April 6, morning rollout of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares launch vehicle to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. 
Orbital is testing the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. A demonstration flight of Antares and Cygnus to the International Space Station is planned for later this year. Following the successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission to the space station, Orbital will conduct eight cargo resupply flights to the orbiting laboratory through NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. 
The rollout, which is scheduled to begin at about 4:45 a.m. EDT, is in preparation for the launch vehicle's test flight later this month. Pad operations to raise the rocket to a vertical position will begin at about 6 a.m. will take two to three hours to complete. The launch window for Antares' test flight is between April 17 and 19. 
Media representatives interested in covering the Antares rollout and pad operations must contact Rebecca Powell at 757-824-1139 or rebecca.h.powell@nasa.gov by 4 p.m., April 5. A media escort will leave Wallops' main gate at 4:30 a.m. for vehicle rollout. Orbital and NASA representatives will be available for comment. All times are tentative, and reporters should contact Wallops for up-to-date information. 
NASA initiatives like COTS are helping develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit. In parallel, NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with commercial space partners developing capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil in the next few years. 
Quelle: NASA
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Update: 6.04.2013
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The test flight of the Antares rocket is currently targeted for the afternoon of April 16 - 18 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
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Update: 7.04.2013
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Antares Test Flight Scheduled for April 17
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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Orbital Sciences Corp. completed roll-out of the first fully-integrated Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Saturday, April 6. Orbital has confirmed an April 17 target launch date for the rocket test flight with a planned liftoff of 5 p.m. EDT. Orbital is testing the Antares rocket under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. NASA initiatives like COTS are helping develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit.
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Media Accreditation Open for Antares Test Flight

Media accreditation is open for a test flight of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch is targeted to occur April 17 at approximately 5 p.m. EDT, the day of launch.

Antares is undergoing testing that will enable the rocket to eventually carry experiments and supplies to the International Space Station aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This test flight will not launch a Cygnus spacecraft or rendezvous with the space station. A demonstration flight of Cygnus to the orbiting laboratory is planned for later this year.
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Quelle: NASA
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Orbital Rolls Out Antares Rocket to Launch Pad at Wallops Island for Upcoming Test Flight
-- Company Targets April 17 for Inaugural Launch of Americas Newest Medium-Class Space Launch Vehicle --

(Dulles, VA 6 April 2013) Early this morning, Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) rolled out the first fully integrated Antares rocket from its assembly building at NASAs Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in eastern Virginia in preparation for its inaugural flight that is scheduled for April 17 at approximately 5:00 p.m. (EDT). This morning, beginning at about 4:30 a.m., the Antares rocket was transported about one mile to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) launch pad complex aboard the Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL), a specialized vehicle that also raises the rocket to a vertical position on the launch pad and serves as a support interface between the rocket and the launch complexs systems.

With the completion of the Antares roll out today, we are on a clear path to a launch date of April 17, provided there are no significant weather disruptions or major vehicle check-out delays between now and then, said Mr. Michael Pinkston, Orbitals Antares Program Manager. By later today, the Antares rocket will be in a vertical position and fully integrated with the launch mount on the MARS pad.

The Antares test flight, dubbed the A-ONE mission, is the first of two missions Orbital is scheduled to conduct in 2013 under its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Space Act Agreement with NASA. Following a successful A-ONE launch, Orbital will carry out a full flight demonstration of its new Antares/Cygnus cargo delivery system to the International Space Station (ISS) around mid-year. In addition, the company is also scheduled to launch the first of eight operational cargo resupply missions to the ISS in 2013 under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. All COTS and CRS flights will originate from NASAs WFF, which is geographically well suited for ISS missions and can also accommodate launches of scientific, defense and commercial satellites to other orbits.

The Antares medium-class launch system will provide a major increase in the payload launch capability that Orbital can provide to NASA, the U.S. Air Force and other customers. The Antares rocket will launch spacecraft weighing up to 14,000 lbs. into low-Earth orbit, as well as lighter-weight payloads into higher-energy orbits. Orbitals newest launcher is currently on-ramped to both the NASA Launch Services-2 and the U.S. Air Forces Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 contracts, enabling the two largest U.S. government space launch customers to order Antares for right-size and right-price launch services for medium-class spacecraft.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The companys primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.

Quelle: Orbital

 
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Update: 15.04.2013
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The sun rises over NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, where the first Antares rocket built by Orbital Sciences stands poised to launch on its test flight from Wallops Island on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Liftoff set for 5 pm ET on April 17, 2013.
It's almost show time for a new private rocket on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
A commercially built rocket designed to launch unmanned cargo ships to the International Space Station is counting down toward its first-ever flight test this week from Wallops Island, Va., a small island that is home to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and a young commercial spaceport. Liftoff for the rocket, called Antares, is currently set for Wednesday, April 17, at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).
Quelle: NASA
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Orbital Sciences readying for launch date
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Jeffrey MacMillan/JEFFREY MACMILLAN -  Orbital Sciences’ Senior Vice President Frank Culbertson Jr. with a model of his company’s Antares rocket in this photo from August 2012. The company plans a test launch of the Antares rocket this month.
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Update: 17.04.2013
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NASA's commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is scheduled to launch its first Antares rocket from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Wednesday, April 17. 
Antares is undergoing testing that will enable the rocket to eventually carry experiments and supplies to the International Space Station aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft.
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Depending on where you are along the eastern seaboard of the U.S., you might be able to see the flight of our Antares rocket. The downloadable map below shows the projected degrees above the horizon (how high to look) and the path the rocket will fly so that you might be able to glimpse the Antares test flight. The best chance to see the flight extends from about Cape May, NJ southward through the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Also, if you happen to be in Bermuda, you will likely have a clear view of Antares as it rockets by.
 
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The COTS Demonstration Cygnus spacecraft completed a significant milestone on Tuesday, April 2, when its Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) was attached to the Service Module (SM), and all mechanical flight connections were attached. The PCM was recently loaded with cargo, and was reoriented from the horizontal to the vertical to facilitate the attachment. The vertically oriented PCM was then lifted and precisely relocated over the SM by Orbital engineers and technicians.
After connecting electrical harnesses, the now completed Cygnus will perform a final set of tests to ensure proper functioning of the combined PCM/SM systems. After completion of the testing, the Cygnus will be prepared for transportation to the fueling facility.
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NASA's commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is scheduled to launch its first Antares rocket from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia today at 5 p.m. EDT.
Antares is undergoing testing that will enable the rocket to eventually carry experiments and supplies to the International Space Station aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft.
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Nachfolgend Frams von NASA-TV:
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Start-Abbruch durch abgerissenen Schlauch!
 
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Update: 18.04.2013
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The maiden flight of a powerful new rocket designed to loft space station cargo ships into orbit was called off 12 minutes before liftoff Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on the Virginia coast when an umbilical attached to the booster's second stage pulled away earlier than planned.
After assessing the problem, Orbital Sciences Corp. managers tentatively rescheduled launch for 5 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Friday, repairs and weather permitting. Forecasters are predicting high winds and possible thunderstorms in the Wallops Island, Va., area Friday afternoon.
"We are still examining all of the data, but it appears that the issue is fairly straightforward," Frank Culbertson, a former space shuttle commander and Orbital vice president, said in a statement.
"With this being the first launch of the new system from a new launch facility, we have taken prudent steps to ensure a safe and successful outcome. Today, our scrub procedures were exercised and worked as planned. We are looking forward to a successful launch on Friday."
The countdown had proceeded smoothly throughout the day Wednesday with no technical problems of any significance. An initially gloomy weather forecast improved dramatically as the day wore on and the rocket was on track for launch at 5 p.m.
But the unexpected umbilical separation at the T-minus 12-minute mark interrupted the countdown.
"LC, we've had a premature separation of the umbilical on stage two so we're going to have to abort for the day," an engineer said on the countdown audio loop.
"OK, copy that," the launch conductor replied. "This is LC on countdown one, abort, abort, abort. This is LC on countdown one, abort, abort, abort, proceed to abort safing procedures."
The scrub was a disappointment to Orbital Sciences engineers who have spent the past six years designing, assembling and testing the two-stage Antares rocket. But company managers took the delay in stride.
"You learn a little bit from every launch attempt," said John Steinmeyer, an Orbital project manager. "We'll take the lessons learned today and move into another launch attempt as soon as it's safe to do so."
The Antares is the most powerful booster in Orbital's inventory and the largest rocket ever built for launch from the MARS/Wallops complex. NASA is counting on the new rocket to help ensure steady delivery of supplies and components to the International Space Station in the wake of the shuttle's retirement.
For the rocket's initial test flight, a heavily instrumented mockup of the company's Cygnus cargo ship was mounted in a protective nose cone. Assuming the test flight goes well, Orbital plans to launch a real Cygnus atop an Antares in mid June to deliver about a ton of supplies and equipment to the space station.
The test flight and the upcoming Cygnus demonstration mission are part of a $288 million contract with NASA to help develop the new launch system. The first of at least eight operational station resupply flights conducted under a separate $1.9 billion contract with NASA, is targeted for mid September.
An umbilical unexpectedly detached from the second stage of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket 12 minutes before launch Wednesday, forcing engineers to call off the countdown. (Credit: NASA TV)
Quelle: CBS
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Antares Launch Reschedule
Orbital Sciences Corporation has confirmed the next probable attempt to test launch its Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., will be no earlier than Friday, April 19, at 5 p.m. EDT.
NASA Television will begin live coverage of the second launch attempt beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Quelle: NASA
 
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Update: 19.04.2013
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Antares launch delayed to Saturday to avoid bad weather
Running two days late because of a minor last-minute technical glitch, Orbital Sciences managers decided Thursday to delay the maiden flight of the company's new Antares rocket one more day to Saturday because of expected bad weather, company officials said.
The 133-foot-tall Antares rocket, built to boost unmanned space station cargo ships into orbit, now is targeted for liftoff from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Island, Va., facility during a three-hour window that opens at 5 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Saturday. The weather is expected to "improve significantly," according to a company update.
Orbital got within 12 minutes of launch Wednesday only to call off the countdown after engineers spotted a data cable that had pulled loose from the rocket's second stage. Frank Culbertson, an Orbital vice president and Antares mission manager, said the issue was relatively easy to resolve and launch was tentatively rescheduled for Friday.
But forecasters said conditions were expected to deteriorate and with high winds and thick clouds expected, Orbital managers decided Thursday to delay the test flight one more day.
The Antares is the most powerful booster in Orbital's inventory and the largest rocket ever built for launch from the MARS/Wallops complex. NASA is counting on the new rocket to help ensure steady delivery of supplies and components to the International Space Station in the wake of the shuttle's retirement.
For the rocket's initial test flight, a heavily instrumented mockup of the company's Cygnus cargo ship is mounted in a protective nose cone. Assuming the test flight goes well, Orbital plans to launch a real Cygnus atop an Antares in mid June to deliver about a ton of supplies and equipment to the space station.
Quelle:Orbital
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Update: 20.04.2013
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Frams von (hoffentlich erfolgreichen) 2.Start-Versuch werden aktuell heute am Abend erfolgen:
 
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Wegen schlechten Wetter´s den Start um weitere 24 Stunden verschoben.
 
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Update: 21.04.2013
Launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Island, Va., flight facility was re-targeted for 5:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Sunday. Forecasters predicted a 75 percent chance of acceptable weather.
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Alle guten Dinge sind 3, also sind wir Optimisten das heute Abend der dritte Start-Versuch von Antares gelingt!
LIVE-Frams davon gibt es dann hier: 
 
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