The next Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station will demonstrate two new capabilities, one before launch and the other after the spacecraft departs the station.
After launching three of its last four Cygnus missions from Florida, Orbital ATK is planning to begin a string of cargo launches to the International Space Station on its Antares rocket with one now scheduled for Nov. 12.
Orbital ATK plans to resume using its Antares rocket for launches of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft later this summer, as the company continues to seek additional government and commercial customers for the launch vehicle.
As Orbital ATK prepares to launch a Cygnus cargo spacecraft on an Atlas 5, the company expects to hear soon from NASA about potentially using that rocket again on future cargo missions.
In its first flight in nearly two years, an Orbital ATK Antares successfully launched a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Oct. 17.
The first launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket with a new first stage engine is now planned for early October, a company official said Sept. 13.
Satellite and rocket manufacturer Orbital ATK on Aug. 10 said global commercial satellite demand is weaker than the company had expected and would be a drag on its financial results in both 2016 and 2017.
A May 31 static fire test of the new first stage of Orbital ATK’s Antares launch vehicle should clear the way for that rocket to return to flight in early July.
Satellite and rocket builder Orbital ATK on May 5 said its re-engined Antares medium-lift launch vehicle likely would make its first flight in July and would be nicely profitable for Orbital even if it wins no other customers beyond its current NASA space station resupply business.
As the first Cygnus mission launched on an Atlas rocket arrived at the International Space Station, Orbital ATK was already looking ahead to the second such mission, as well as resuming flights in 2016 of an updated version of the company’s own Antares launch vehicle.