Space Commerce

Orbital Prepares Antares and Cygnus for Upcoming Mission to the ISS

By Keith Cowing
December 10, 2013
Filed under , , , , , , , ,
Orbital Prepares Antares and Cygnus for Upcoming Mission to the ISS
Orbital Prepares Antares and Cygnus

Today, Orbital Sciences Corporation continues to prepare for next week’s launch at the Horizontal Integration Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
Yesterday, Antares was lifted onto the Transporter/Erector/Launcher (TEL). The TEL acts as a support structure as Antares is transported on the approximately one mile route from the HIF to Pad 0A. At the pad, hydraulic erection actuators rotate the TEL and the rocket to a vertical position, where the TEL functions as Antares’ umbilical support structure. Click here for more images.

Later today, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft will be mated to the rocket. The majority of the cargo for the International Space Station is already loaded onto Cygnus. This week additional “late load” cargo will be installed in Cygnus, the hatch will be closed, and the cargo module will be pressurized prior to encapsulation in the 9.9 meter Antares payload fairing. Roll-out of Antares to the launch pad is currently scheduled for December 16.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.