“The possibility exists that manufacturing process controls could allow variation in material properties and hardware dimensions that may impact system performance,” the report summary says.
An on-pad hot-fire test of Orbital’s Antares space station cargo rocket was aborted by the vehicle’s flight computer on Feb. 13, and the date for a first flight of the rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast has not been set. The company traced the automatic abort to low pressure levels during a nitrogen purge of the kerosene-fueled rocket’s aft compartment.
NASA had no immediate comment on the effect of the Glory failure review on the Antares mission. As of late last year the agency had not cleared the shroud-separation mechanism on Antares for flight to the ISS with Orbital’s Cygnus cargo vehicle. Both Antares and Cygnus were developed under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation System seed-money program.