Antares Moves Toward Commercial Operations

By Frank Morring, Jr.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
September 23, 2013
Credit: Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System

Orbital Sciences Corp. engineers already are looking for another rocket engine to power the Antares medium-lift launch vehicle, after closing out the week demonstrating that the new commercial cargo carrier can safely approach the International Space Station (ISS).

The supply of surplus Soviet-era Nk-33 kerosene-fueled engines extends beyond the 20 Orbital will need to fly out more than $2 billion in NASA work through 2015. Another two of those engines, which Aerojet has modified and labeled as the AJ-26, lifted the first Cygnus cargo capsule to orbit last week.

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