Feeds

Antares aborted after launchpad mishap

Supply line separated early

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

NASA has had to delay the launch of the Antares private spacecraft following the premature disconnection of a second-stage umbilical.

Thankfully, it wasn't a catastrophic launch failure. Antares has missed its launch window, and will need 24 to 48 hours to be returned to “nominal state”, and at the time of writing, NASA was still trying to understand what caused the umbilical to separate from the upper stage while launch preparations were taking place.

Antares, a private launcher built by Orbital Sciences, was to launch from the Wallops Flight Facility for its inaugural flight. The A-ONE mission is the first of two Antares demonstration missions scheduled for 2013 to demonstrate the launcher's ability to service the International Space Station; presuming that A-ONE is successfully rescheduled, a second launch later in the year will complete the demonstration schedule.

Once proven, Antares is scheduled for eight ISS resupply missions during 2013 under a $1.9 billion contract.

NASA says that the umbilical separated around 12 minutes before the preferred launch time, which “immediately led to a scrub of the launch attempt for the day”.

Close-up of the troublesome umbilicals. Source: Nasaspaceflight.com

Antares uses components from a variety of suppliers: its tank assembly and fuselage come from the Ukraine, and its motors were built to power Soviet lunar launches before being bought as a job lot of 30 by Aerojet, which has rebuilt the NK-33 motors as its AJ26 rockets.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?