Monday, May 9, 2016

Antares readied for return to flight at Wallops

Orbital ATK plans to roll out its newly redesigned Antares rocket this week onto the launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. It is set to be put to a "hot-fire test" later this month.

If successful, the test will keep the NASA contractor on track for the real thing in July, the first Antares launch since a mission ended in flames in October 2014.

Orbital President David Thompson gave new details about the program during a Thursday, May 5, conference call.

"We're getting close to being back to flight-ready status," he said.

Orbital and Elon Musk's SpaceX each have NASA contracts to ferry supplies to the International Space Station. Virginia-based Orbital had conducted two unmanned rocket launches at Wallops before a third exploded just seconds after liftoff. The problem was traced to a faulty turbo pump in the decades-old, Soviet-made engines.

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Anonymous said...

An entire book has been written about NASA's abandoned launch sites.Let's hope Wallops won't be next.

Anonymous said...

Wallops launch site has been operating since 1945. It's not likely to be abandoned any time soon.

Anonymous said...

You hope.