Orbital Sciences Corporation

With Successful Antares Launch, Russian Engines Are Riding High

With Successful Antares Launch, Russian Engines Are Riding High

After a near two year stand down while the launch pad was repaired and the rocket was retooled, Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket made a triumphant return to flight Monday evening. Liftoff from Pad OA at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport took place at 7:45 PM EDT, as the booster lofted a Cygnus cargo vehicle loaded with […]

Update: Retooled Antares 230 Rocket Set to Make its Debut on (Monday) Evening Flight

Update: Retooled Antares 230 Rocket Set to Make its Debut on (Monday) Evening Flight

  Update from NASA: Today’s launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket is postponed  24 hours  due to a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch check out. We have spares on hand and rework procedures are in process. The Antares and Cygnus teams are not currently working any […]

Stratolaunch Systems and Orbtial ATK Team Up (Again)

Stratolaunch Systems and Orbtial ATK Team Up (Again)

The wild, but underwhelming ride that has been Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s effort to revolutionize the launch industry with the Stratolaunch aircraft has taken another turn. Yesterday, Stratolaunch Systems announced an agreement with Orbital ATK to use the massive carrier aircraft to loft Pegasus XL rockets for air launch, a move which would supplant the […]

A Brewing Battle Over the Small Launch Industry

A Brewing Battle Over the Small Launch Industry

There is a small, but potentially significant battle brewing between would-be launch providers in one segment of the rocket industry which has seen little development in recent years. How it plays out may say quite a bit about the degree to which the aerospace establishment is seeking to maintain its base wherever it can, and […]

Roadside Assistance in Space: Orbital ATK Signs Deal for First In-Space Commercial Satellite Servicing

Roadside Assistance in Space: Orbital ATK Signs Deal for First In-Space Commercial Satellite Servicing

Long predicted in coming, the era of active satellite servicing and refueling is about to get underway. Here is the press release from Orbital ATK: Pioneers In Space: Orbital ATK Announces Intelsat as Anchor Customer for New Satellite Life Extension Service Company Begins Production of First of a Planned Fleet of Commercial In-Space Servicing and […]

NASA Plan Will Have Cygnus Spaceship Go Down In Flames (Twice)

NASA Plan Will Have Cygnus Spaceship Go Down In Flames (Twice)

Talk about going down in flames. Sometimes it seems that NASA has an inappropriate fascination with destroying its own spacecraft. Cassini comes to mind, but there are quite a few other examples, including the four former SSME’s which will power each of the first few SLS launches. See Related:  Expending Reusable Engines: A Good Thing?  […]

Liberty Reborn or the Future Denied? Orbital ATK’s New EELV Class Rocket

Liberty Reborn or the Future Denied? Orbital ATK’s New EELV Class Rocket

An investor conference call (pdf download) for Orbital ATK which took place on March 1st has shed new, if somewhat puzzling light on Orbital ATK’s plans for a new booster to compete in the USAF’s EELV class against long standing incumbent ULA and recently certified SpaceX. Call it the rebirth of Ares-1, or perhaps of the patriotically […]

Aerojet’s Really Bad Week

Aerojet’s Really Bad Week

Two weeks ago, for a moment it looked as if Aerojet Rocketdyne stood a fair shot at walking away with United Launch Alliance for something close to its $2 billion dollar unsolicited offer. Had the deal gone through, Aerojet would have presumably been in a much stronger position to secure government funding for its AR-1 […]

NASA’s OIG Report on Orbital Antares Failure

NASA’s OIG Report on Orbital Antares Failure

NASA’s Office of Inspector General has released a report regarding the agency’s response to Orbital Sciences’ October 28th, 2014 failure of an Antares booster launching the Orb-3 ISS re-supply mission. The full report can be found here, and is an interesting read. Like most NASA OIG reports,  it is clearly written and contains a great […]

Orbital Orders Another Atlas for CRS, NASA Delays CRS-2 Awards (again)

Orbital Orders Another Atlas for CRS, NASA Delays CRS-2 Awards (again)

The twin failures of both the Orbital Sciences Antares and SpaceX Falcon launch vehicles have made for a challenging 10 months for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program, a period further complicated by the loss of a Russian Progress cargo ship between the two U.S. accidents. At the same time, the program’s core philosophy of […]

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