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Orbital Sciences Corporation

Space

NASA sets fire to unmanned cargo ship in the name of safety

An unmanned Cygnus cargo ship left the International Space Station today, and then NASA set it on fire. At 4:55 pm EDT, ground control activated the Saffire-I experiment in the hold of the Orbital ATK Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module as it drifted away from the station, triggering the largest fire ever started in space. The controlled burn inside an insulated container is part of a study to learn more about the nature of fire in zero gravity and improve spacecraft safety.Read More

Space

Cygnus Orbital ATK CRS-6 cargo mission on its way to the ISS

The Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned Cygnus cargo ship lifted off today atop an Atlas V booster in a spectacular nighttime launch at 11:05 pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a three-month mission to deliver about 7,500 lb (3.400 kg) of supplies and experiments to the space station.Read More

Cygnus spacecraft takes out the trash

The Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission came to an end today as NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra used one of the International Space Station's (ISS) robotic arms to release the spacecraft from its docking port. Filled with rubbish, the unmanned cargo ship left the station at 7:26 am EST. After a controlled re-entry maneuver monitored by mission control in Houston, it is scheduled to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.Read More

3D Printing

3D-printed engine combustor withstands hypersonic flight testing

Aerospace 3D printing went Mach 5 this week, with Orbital ATK announcing that it has successfully tested a printed hypersonic engine combustor at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. A key scramjet component, the 3D-printed combustor spent 20 days undergoing high-temperature hypersonic flight conditions as well as one of the longest duration propulsion wind tunnel tests for such a component.Read More

Cygnus cargo ship launch scrubbed due to bad weather

Today's launch of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) has been scrubbed. According to NASA, thick cloud and disturbed weather at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida prohibited the liftoff of the unmanned Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission and launch control ordered a 24-hr postponement at 6:11 pm EST. Read More

Space

NASA releases more information on Antares explosion

At a press conference arranged only a few hours after the event, NASA released details of the explosion of the Antares rocket carrying the unmanned Cygnus supply ship to the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency said that the launch pad at Wallops Island, Virginia, where the 240,000-kg (530,000-lb) rocket went up in flames seconds after lift off has been cordoned off by firefighters until daylight because of the on-going hazards from fires, and scattered solid and hypergolic fuel from the Antares.Read More

Space

The swan flies: Successful launch of Cygnus/Antares ISS supply mission

Orbital Sciences Corporation today successfully launched the first of eight Cygnus cargo supply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Orbital's Antares medium-lift rocket (originally called the Taurus II) carried the Cygnus into an initial orbit of 135 x 175 miles (220 x 280 km), inclined at 51.6 degrees relative to the equator. The Cygnus is flying solo now, with full communications and deployed solar arrays, carrying roughly 2,800 lb (1,300 kg) of cargo toward a January 12 rendezvous and docking with the ISS. Read More

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