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.
During the time after its departure, the spacecraft deployed four cubesats and performed a fire experiment.
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.
Thursday's briefing begins with Orbital ATK postponing Antares' return-to-flight mission from Aug. 22 to mid-to-late-September.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 successfully launched a Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station March 22, the second such mission in less than four months.
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.
An Atlas 5 rocket successfully launched an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft Dec. 6 after three days of delays, resuming deliveries of essential supplies and experiments to the International Space Station by U.S. companies.