November 13, 2017
Successful launch of the Orbital ATK’s upgraded Antares rocket took place on November 12, 2017 at 14:20 Kyiv time (7:19 a.m Eastern) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island (Virginia, the United States). Orbital ATK (USA) is the prime developer of the rocket.
Antares was developed for the Commercial Resupply Services mission bound for the International Space Station as well as to launch commercial and national satellites. Antares is a two-stage rocket plus Cygnus cargo vehicle (third stage).
Core structure of the Antares’ first stage was developed and produced by Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye State Design Office and Yuzhmash Machine Building plant in cooperation with Ukraine's Hartron-Arkos (Kharkov), Hartron-Ucom (Zaporozhie), Chezara, Rapid (Chernigov) and Kievpribor (Kiev) etc.
Antares pre-launch processing, testing and launch were supported by the specialists from Yuzhnoye SDO, PA Yuzhmash, NPA Hartron-Arkos. Ukrainian specialists have accomplished all respective operations in their areas of responsibility Launch technical support, real-time acquisition and processing of the telemetry information were provided from the Yuzhnoye SDO territory as stipulated by the contract.
Antares rocket launched Cygnus cargo spacecraft, delivering 3350 kg of payload, supplies of food, scientific equipment to the ISS. It should be observed that it is the heaviest load to be orbited overall. This mission cargo spacecraft is named S.S. Gene Cernan Cygnus after astronaut Eugene Gene Cernan.
From the low parking orbit Cygnus spacecraft will began a series of burns to set up a rendezvous with the International Space Station. After berthing and unloading for the first time Cygnus will act as an orbital laboratory annex for scientific experiments with Space Tango Tangolab facility for the microgravity research.
Cygnus will depart from the ISS in two weeks, deploying 14 Cubsats. Following departure from the space station, the spacecraft will be deorbited and burn up during reentry over the Pacific Ocean.
This mission was Antares’ seventh launch of the Orbital АТК under the contract with NASA. Two more missions of the Antares rocket are scheduled to take place before the end of 2018.
Under Antares program Ukrainian party has accomplished all the design, test and hardware production liabilities undertaken under the contract with National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
David Thompson (Orbital ATK President and CEO), Valeriy Chaliy, Ukraine’s ambassador to the USA, Olexander Degtyarev, acting General Director, Yuzhnoye SDO
Olexander Degtyarev and Bob Richards (Orbital ATK Vice-president)
Antares project is a good example of the Ukrainian space industry involvement in the international space projects, promoting its foreign economic activity and involvement of the national spacefaring industry in the global space market.
Public Relations Center