Antares Set For Return To Flight with Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft

On Monday 17th October 2016, an Orbital ATK Antares rocket is getting ready to Return To Flight operations following a flight anomaly in October 2014. The Antares is set to launch the company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a trajectory to the International Space Station. OA-5 will provide cargo and scientific experiments to the station.


In October 2014, Antares suffered a major anomaly 6 seconds into Flight which resulted in a Loss of Mission (LOM) and significant loss of cargo which was bound for the International  Space Station. The Cargo lost on that mission included items for Scott Kelly’s Year in Space mission. 

Pending a lengthy investigation with Orbital ATK (at the time Orbital Sciences), Wallops Flight Facility staff and the Range, the investigation concluded with varietied possible outcomes of the failed launch. The main culprit which was mentioned by most parties, placed the majority of the blame on the engines and their aged turbopumps. Others placed human error for the failure. 


It was clear however that the cause of the failure shook the company greatly and that the company would immediately halt using the original engines which powered the 100 series Antares. Moving towards a future version of Antares quicker than expected, Orbital ATK moved to the RD-181 engine, which is similar to the engine which is used on the Atlas V, the RD-180. This engine will be paired up and placed on to Antares to replace the NK-33. 


With this launch coming a day later than planned due to an issue with a ground system, it is now expected for the Cygnus spacecraft, if it does launch into space, to loiter to allow the  next crew to the ISS priority to dock ahead of the berthing of Cygnus. The Cygnus spacecraft is expected to stay berthed to the International Space Station for at least one month, but will likely stay for 2 months as previous missions have demonstrated. 


With Cygnus hoping to begin a busy week for the International Space Station Program, it is hoped that Antares launches without an issue and that Orbital ATK can return Antares to Flight Operations. 

AllStuffSpace wish Orbital ATK, NASA and all teams involved with the OA-5 mission to the ISS all the best, and God Speed!

GO ANTARES, GO CYGNUS, GO ORBITAL ATK!!

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Elon Musk and SpaceX Announce Mars Architecture

On Tuesday 27th September 2016, the biggest day in the current history of SpaceX and Elon Musk arrived as they announced the architecture that will enable humans and cargo to and from Mars. The talk took place at IAC 2016 at 19:30 UTC and amazed not just the attendees but the online audience which were watching and listening to Elon’s talk. The long awaited provided an insight into the design and ultimate destination of SpaceX and Elon’s plans.


It has been known from the inception of SpaceX that the company goal was Mars, and that the ultimate goal would result in routine journies to and from Mars, and generally space. From Falcon 1, the company has been learning the ropes of rocketry, with many failures on the way, including recently with a Launch Pad Anomaly which destroyed a Falcon 9 and its payload ahead of standard procedure Static Fire Test.

Here is the full livestream from IAC 2016:

Outlining his biggest ambition of the company from the near inception, Musk provided an insight into the Mars Architecture that could lead humanity to be multi-planetary. Initially it is beleived that the Big F!@& Rocket will carry at least 100 people and cargo to the red planet. Envisioning a big space to hang around, Musk hoped that inflight entertainment would include an Earthy feel and that the at least 6 month transit would be furfilled with plenty to do.


The BFR (as previously known) or as it’s now known as the Interplanetary Transport System was introduced about an hour before the talk Elon was about to present at IAC 2016, and was ultimately the precursor of the presentation which would outline the preliminary details of the system. The Super Heavy Lift rocket is described to be a 12 meter diameter rocket booster and a 17 meter spaceship/transporter. Ultimately the whole stack height measures to 122 meters, resulting being roughly 11 meters taller than the Saturn V rocket of the Apollo era.

With a bigger rocket, calls more engines with more power. RP-1 and Liquid Oxygen can only go so far when it comes to rocketry, and this is where SpaceX changed to Methane for their new rocket system. It also called for a new engine to enable the rocket to fly and to adopt the company’s view on reusablity. The ITS is powered by 42 Raptor engines, with the centre engines being able to gimbal, with main outer engines being locked in one position. In SpaceX timing, the Propulsion team in McGregor fired up for the first time a Development Model of the Raptor – Successfully! From footage which was released, it was estimated that the firing lasted for 8 seconds – however the timings officially haven’t been released by SpaceX. For the first firing the data collect will be valuable, and though successful, Elon joked, ‘I’m surprised it didn’t blow up’.

With all 42 engines firing in unison, it will provide a near 29 million pounds of thrust, engulfing the might Saturn V’s thrust at lift off, which was just short of 8 million pounds. Here are the stats of the Raptor engine which were provided at the talk:

Ultimately, Elon hopes to assist in making humans a multiplanatary specie and that if something did occur to Earth as we know it, humans at least have a chance else where in the solar system.
Though we are a few years away from the complete system launching from a launch pad, SpaceX have begun the development phase of the systems which are need to launch the Biggest Rocket currently being designed. With a development Raptor being tested, it was also revealed that SpaceX engineers have already began building development upper stage LOX tanks and already verified their strength with cryogenic liquids. Below are the released pictures of the developmental tank:


With multiple companies aiming for the stars, including a return to moon and now SpaceX revealing their Mars Architecture, the future is beaming with bigger rockets and at least more people in space.

SpaceX Suffers Setback after On-Pad RUD

This Post is being constantly updated when new information is provided/received.

After 15 months since the loss of their first Falcon 9 with the CRS-7 mission, and a successful return to flight operations, SpaceX has suffered another significant blow to their operations with a Falcon 9 having a Rapid Unplanned Disassembly (RUD) on their SLC-40 Pad in Florida. SpaceX lost their Falcon 9 (F9-029) and the AMOS-6 payload in the ill-fated Static Fire ahead of the launch. It is currently not fully known what the cause of this tragedy is at this time.

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Webcam footage from NASA shows SLC-40 under dark flames from the explosion

The Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s workhorse, was in the latter stages of the Mission Flow to assist haul the AMOS-6 satellite to geostationary transfer orbit later this week. The No Earlier Than (NET) date for the launch was for 3rd September 2016. Currently there is only one video which provides the public a decent view on the occurrence which occurred at SLC-40 and this was provided by USLaunchReport.

Currently this is the statement which SpaceX has provided the public on AMOS-6 anomaly:

September 2, 6:45pm EDT

SpaceX has begun the careful and deliberate process of understanding the causes and fixes for yesterday’s incident.  We will continue to provide regular updates on our progress and findings, to the fullest extent we can share publicly.

We deeply regret the loss of AMOS-6, and safely and reliably returning to flight to meet the demands of our customers is our chief priority.  SpaceX’s business is robust, with approximately 70 missions on our manifest worth over $10 billion.  In the aftermath of yesterday’s events, we are grateful for the continued support and unwavering confidence that our commercial customers as well as NASA and the United States Air Force have placed in us.

Overview of the incident:

– Yesterday, at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, an anomaly took place about eight minutes in advance of a scheduled test firing of a Falcon 9 rocket.

– The anomaly on the pad resulted in the loss of the vehicle.

– This was part of a standard pre-launch static fire to demonstrate the health of the vehicle prior to an eventual launch.

– At the time of the loss, the launch vehicle was vertical and in the process of being fueled for the test.  At this time, the data indicates the anomaly originated around the upper stage liquid oxygen tank.  Per standard operating procedure, all personnel were clear of the pad.  There were no injuries.

To identify the root cause of the anomaly, SpaceX began its investigation immediately after the loss, consistent with accident investigation plans prepared for such a contingency.  These plans include the preservation of all possible evidence and the assembly of an Accident Investigation Team, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and participation by NASA, the United States Air Force and other industry experts.  We are currently in the early process of reviewing approximately 3000 channels of telemetry and video data covering a time period of just 35-55 milliseconds.

As for the Launch Pad itself, our teams are now investigating the status of SLC-40.  The pad clearly incurred damage, but the scope has yet to be fully determined.  We will share more data as it becomes available.  SpaceX currently operates 3 launch pads – 2 in Florida and 1 in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base.  SpaceX’s other launch sites were not affected by yesterday’s events.  Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base is in the final stages of an operational upgrade and Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center remains on schedule to be operational in November.  Both pads are capable of supporting Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches.  We are confident the two launch pads can support our return to flight and fulfill our upcoming manifest needs.

Again, our number one priority is to safely and reliably return to flight for our customers, as well as to take all the necessary steps to ensure the highest possible levels of safety for future crewed missions with the Falcon 9. We will carefully and thoroughly investigate and address this issue.

AllStuffSpace wish a quick recovery to SpaceX and wish them luck when they do Return To Flight.

This Post is being constantly updated when new information is provided/received.

Review of July 2016: What Goes Up, Must Come Down!

July 2016 brought many a launch and developments within the space sector from across the world. This lead to many successes, near misses, and sadly some failures. However each flight and development leads to further learning for future flights by all companies involved.

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This month saw an increased launch rhythm from around the world and the first of them to conduct launches was Russia, and the launch of 3 new international crew members to the International Space Station. This resulted in the crew going from 3 members to the current limit of 6 on board of the Space Station. The crew began their Expedition with safety briefings and moved personal items into their crew quarters.

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It was the beginning of a busy time for Space Station traffic this month, with the first of many cargo crafts coming with valuable cargo supplies for all the crew at the International Space Station. Progress MS-03 launch with a lot of science and supplies and headed to the station of a 2-day rendezvous to the station.

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SpaceX also launched a Cargo Resupply mission towards the International Space Station with their 8th successful launch of cargo to Station. CRS-9 launched in the middle of the night with tons of cargo and importantly IDA-2 which is needed for Commercial Crew which should be beginning in 2017.

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SpaceX also continued with their landing tests of their First Stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. As planned the Falcon 9 first stage fired successfully and separated from the rest of the rocket and the stage flipped in preparation to return to LZ-1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Stage 2 and Dragon continued to orbit and successfully inserted into its planned orbit trajectory. First Stage fired as planned to return the stage back to the landing site and the stage softly touch down in its intended landing area.

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Copenhagen Suborbitals launched their Nexø I in July, however the test was not fully successful and the rocket flew for less time than planned. There was an issue which occurred during flight The flight then came to an end prematurely and the rocket became a ballistic missile heading for the Baltic Sea where it just launched from. The rocket landed an submerged into the Baltic Sea and within 20 seconds, it resurfaced mostly intact, and still boiling of the LOX that was in the tanks.

Upgraded Soyuz Docks Crew of Three At International Space Station

A crew of three have successfully launched and docked at the International Space Station, with an on time launch of the newly upgraded Soyuz capsule, the Soyuz MS series. The three international crew members launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 01:36 UTC, on July 7th, which began the two-day rendezvous profile for this mission to the International Space Station.

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Soyuz Rocket carrying three ISS crew launches from the Cosmodrome – Photo Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls

The launch of the next crew occurred at break of dawn at the Cosmodrome, however the crew was preparing for launch many hours before the engines ignited and the Soyuz clearing the gantry to take flight to orbit. The international crew comprises of 1 American, 1 Russian and 1 Japanese astronaut. Anatoli Ivanishin is the Soyuz Commander for this flight and for the duration of the flight of this Soyuz in space. Accompanying him as Flight Engineers aboard Soyuz and at Station is NASA Astronaut Kathleen Rubin and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, both flying for the first time to space and the International Space Station. All the crew have been training for launch for many years, and in the previous weeks leading to launch, all crew including backup crew were assessed and tested on their contingency and normal flight profiles before being cleared for launch.

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Expedition 48 Primary Crew – Soyuz MS-01 – NASA (2016)

At the 2 hour mark before launch, all three crew said farewell to solid ground, and was escorted to the lift which would bring them to their ride to space. At that time preflight checks were made and configuration for flight was executed within the capsule. A period of silence was then experience as preparation were complete and the steps that lead to the final and important steps were complete. As soon as the gantry was removed from around the rocket, the flight abort system was activated in the event of a pad emergency which could affect the safety of the crew onboard or if a rocket failure could occur within the timeframe between countdown, the initial launch and through most of the early flight trajectory. Ignition of the engines occurred at the T-17 seconds in the countdown, and at that time the engines were spooling up, providing health checks as the engines operated at higher thrusts. At the T-0 mark, the engines were at full thrust and the rocket cleared the retracted gantry and the crew began their 10 minute ride to space, the first crew of the new Soyuz MS series, which should see the Soyuz to its planned retirement for the new Russian Explorer Class capsule, expected to take flight in the 2020 timeframe.

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Soyuz MS-01 completes processing ahead of flight – Roscosmos (2016)

The Soyuz MS Series is the last planned upgrade for the long lived Soyuz spacecraft and through these upgrades, the spacecraft has had many of its systems upgraded and lightened to support more KGs going into space. The majority of upgrades are seen more under the hood rather than those which may be clear to the uneducated eye of an onlooker. However these upgrades are not taking their first flight on this Soyuz, as Roscosmos has been trialing and testing these upgrades on the Cargo spacecraft, the Progress, which is a cargo variant of the crew carrying Soyuz spacecraft, however that variant is an expandable variant where no piece of the spacecraft survives the heat of reentry. These flew on the Progress MS01 and MS02 flights to station, and Progress MS01 successfully completed its mission a few days prior to the Soyuz MS-01 crew launch on the 7th July 2016.

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The upgrades included new meteoroid shielding which protects wiring and the capsule itself from small yet fast traveling debris in space. Additionally there was a new Kurs-NA rendezvous system installed on the Soyuz MS Series to support docking at the International Space Station and the likelihood of this system being used on the planned Russian Space Station post-International Space Station days. In terms of power and power sourcing, the Soyuz was provided with an additional power bank with the addition of an extra battery, and in turn, the upgrades for the MS Series provide the Soyuz with improved and more efficient solar panels which provide the power to the batteries on board. There is also a newly re-arranged attitude control thrusters on the Soyuz MS Series which provide more control authority when docking and with maneuvers in space. With many more upgrades for the MS Series that are too long to list, the Soyuz will continue to fly until Russia has it’s new spacecraft up and running before placing the Soyuz spacecraft into retirement and into the history books for the longest flying spacecraft.

The launch of Soyuz MS-01 marked the 130th flight of a Soyuz vehicle since its service began in 1967.

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Soyuz MS-01 approaching its docking port – Picture Credit: Roscosmos / Oleg Skripochka (2016)

With the 2-day flight to the station assisting in testing and verifying the new upgrades on Soyuz, the conclusion of the flight resulted in the spacecraft flying over the Space Station and aligning itself to its docking port before progressing to a hard dock (a secure connection between the spacecraft and the station). All progressed well and the Soyuz successfully docked to its port. The crew then verified that the spacecraft was in a stable configuration and that the power source was kept minimal in case of an emergency evacuation which would require the Soyuz to power up in a shorter period of time for crew safety. This crew is scheduled to stay on station for around 4 months, and it is very likely likely that Kathleen Rubin will assist an EVA to install the IDA which is currently scheduled to fly on SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, its ninth on contract, which is currently scheduled to launch on the 18th July 2016.

The Nexø I Mission – Copenhagen Suborbitals

Copenhagen Suborbitals, a crowdfunded suborbital space company is currently targeting the initial launch of Nexø I on July 16th 2016. This will be the first of many flights which Copenhagen Suborbitals hope to have undertaken in the coming months and years ahead.

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Copenhagen Suborbitals was founded on the belief that anyone can make a rocket and fly payload or humans without major or any funding from a Government source. With this in mind, the use of a non-profit endeavour which is funded by public donations, private sponsors and donors alike. If you wish to support Copenhagen Suborbitals in their journey, their donation page, which 100% of the donation will be put into the work on their rockets and testing, it can be found here.

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“We build suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft, and on a micro size budget”

It is the belief of Copenhagen Suborbitals that “the Nexø I rocket is the next step towards our goal of flying an amateur astronaut into space.” For this mission the Nexø I rocket on measures to just over 5.5m and is the company’s first fully guided rocket which has been created by their engineers. Due to the nature of the surrounding areas, Copenhagen Suborbitals will be launching from a sailing launch platform in the middle of the Baltic Sea, which is east of Denmark. This mission will launch on a large arch trajectory and will have a height of around 6km – 10km, and will test the systems of the Nexø I rocket. After powered flight the rocket stage will return to the ocean and will parachute land, hopefully slow enough that the engineers are able to look at the rocket which had just taken flight, and use the trajectory and data found to support future flights and future rockets.

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Looking ahead to a bigger rocket and human suborbital flight.

This mission is a precursor before a bigger more powerful rocket is tested and progressed to support human suborbital flights which is the ultimate goal. We wish Copenhagen Suborbital the best of luck and we hope your flight and objective are 100% achieved.

If you wish to support Copenhagen Suborbitals in their journey, their donation page, which 100% of the donation will be put into the work on their rockets and testing, it can be found here.

We will update the Article post-launch.

SLS Solid Rocket Booster Fired Up On Final Qualification Test

NASA and Orbital ATK on the 28th June 2016 fired up a solid rocket booster which is tentatively scheduled to assist the launches of the Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently scheduled for late 2018.

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This was the major test for the solid rocket booster which is slated to assist the SLS on its maiden and successive missions to follow the inaugural flight which slated to launch No Later Than (NLT) by November 2018. This has also been written into the law by senators and legislators, and NASA and partners are legally obligated to meet this deadline. The first launch of SLS is expected to launch the new Orion capsule for a flyby (and possible orbits) of the Moon, and will be the first time in over 50 years that a human-rated crew capsule has left the bounds of Earth’s gravity.

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This Five Segment Solid Rocket booster was the second and final test of the booster before the flight in November 2018. The first test, QM-1, was test fired in June of 2015, and was tested for the heat extremes which the Solid Rocket Booster may encounter on the pad and flight. That test was known as a Hot Test, enabling data to be collected on how the booster would perform at higher temperatures. QM-2 was being tested with a Cold Test conditions, testing how a booster would perform being below the normal temperatures being expected to be seen on the test stand, and ultimately in flight. The booster test firing was delayed from its initial firing time due to a Ground Computer which would collect the data being at fault. However that fault was ultimately resolved and the test fire was rescheduled for the same day, about an hour later than originally scheduled.

The test successfully began at 9:05 (local), 15:05 (UTC) and began a 2 minute test of the performance of the booster in the test conditions which were set. The solid rocket motor fired just over 2 minutes as intended and was hailed as a success by both NASA and the prime contractor for the boosters for SLS, Orbital ATK. Over the coming months, the data which was collected from this test will be analysed and placed into the production models which will support the launches of the SLS. For the maiden launch of the SLS, the first of two solid rocket boosters are currently in production, with first 3 segments of the first 5 segment solid rocket booster already being produced. In late 2017 / early 2018 all segments of the booster slated to go on the maiden flight will be joined together and the building of the first flight hardware will begin ahead of testing at KSC both in the VAB and on the pad.

This is a very exciting time to be a space fan, for both for Government programs, including that of SLS Program and that of the Commercial Sector with SpaceX, Arianespace, United Launch Alliance and the dark horse of Blue Origin.

Planetary Arrival – JUNO Arrives at Jupiter

Launched on 5th August 2011, JUpiter Near-polar Orbiter (JUNO) was launched on a journey to Jupiter on board a United Launch Alliance Atlas V in the 551 configuration. It was launched on a 5 year journey to seek scientific details of the Jupiter planet. JUNO’s arrival and insertion into orbit of Jupiter was a success on 4th July 2016, and is now expected to the begin the search of useful data from this area of the solar system.

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JUNO launches on board of an Atlas V 551 towards Jupiter

JUNO is a spacecraft a part of NASA’s New Frontiers mission, and was on a trajectory to Jupiter. The spacecraft will have travelled over a total distance of roughly 2.8 billion kilometres by the time it has entered orbit around Jupiter. The spacecraft has entered into a highly elliptical Polar Orbit of the planet, and at this vantage point, the spacecraft will study Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field and the planet’s polar magnetosphere.

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An artist’s rendering of the JUNO spacecraft

JUNO is only the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter and is following in the footsteps of Galileo probe which orbited and sought data from 1995-2003. The spacecraft successfully performed its orbit insertion burn on 4th July 2016 and slowed the spacecraft enough to allow capture in a highly elliptical polar orbit. It will there verify systems and call back to Earth for controllers to do system health checks. It will then do 53-day orbits for a couple of months before performing another burn which should put JUNO in a 14-day Polar Orbit.

This is great news for NASA and the JUNO program and we wish them well on this mission!

MUOS-5 Successfully Launched by ULA’s Atlas V

United Launch Alliance has successfully launched the MUOS-5 for the US Navy, with the mission beginning with an on time launch on 24th June 2016. The launch window opened at 10:30am EDT (14:30 UTC). This mission took around 3 hours before an announcement of success was made . This is the first Atlas V mission since the near miss, but successfully executed mission deployment of the OA-6 mission sending Orbital ATK’s Cygnus to the ISS. The Atlas V launched in the 551 configuration, a 5-meter fairing, 5 solid rocket boosters and single upper-stage engine, and was the 7th time United Launch Alliance had used this configuration. The first was the launch of New Horizons back in 2006.

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The Atlas V lifts of with MUOS-5 | Photo: United Launch Alliance (2016)

This mission was poised to launch the U.S. Navy’s fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5), which was built by Lockheed Martain. According to Gunter’s Space Page, the stated mass of the MUOS satellites are 6740 kg, and are built on the A2100M bus configuration. The MUOS constellation provides the U.S. Navy a network of orbiting satellites which are able to provide secure and communications for the troops who are in war zones and those who are a part of the mobile military forces. Before this launch, four MUOS satellites in orbit providing communications for troops, and with the filth satellite heading towards its slot in Geostationary Orbit, this satellite will provide a backup communications link for the four orbiting satellites currently at their station keeping points.

MUOS-5 however was originally scheduled for launched on May 5th 2016, but subsequently delayed to today. The delayed  was caused by a RD-180 anomaly on the mission which was ahead of this launch campaign. The previous mission, a Resupply Mission heading towards the International Space Station, booked by Orbital ATK, to ferry up the company’s Cygnus spacecraft with science and supplies for the crew at station. The OA-6 mission to the station was a near mission failure due to the shortfall of the RD-180 burn of the first stage flight of the mission, resulting in a 6 second shortfall on the burn. However the mission was saved by the Centaur Upper Stage flight computer acknowledging the shortfall and burning up to a minute longer than planned, a few seconds before fuel depletion.

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An Atlas V core booster being prepared for flight. The RD-180 is the powerhouse for the Atlas V.

After the anomaly was noted by United Launch Alliance, management stood down Atlas V from further mission until data and a fix for the issue was made. It was recognised that the anomaly came from the Atlas V’s main propulsion system, the RD-180, and the investigation found that a fuel control valve was at fault on the OA-6 mission. A fix has now been applied to the RD-180 which is set to take MUOS-5 to a Geostationary Orbit (GSO), and all RD-180 engines which the Atlas V will use in upcoming and future missions.

The following was the Mission Highlights for the MUOS-5 launch:

This mission marked Atlas V’s 63rd launch since its inaugural launch in August 2002. United Launch Alliance is also celebrating it’s 108th mission without failure, a feat which no other aerospace company has yet to reach. The next Atlas V launch is tentatively scheduled for late July carrying the NROL-61 in 421 configuration.

Vulcan Inc’s Stratolaunch – Mega Build Progressing

Vulcan Inc. has been creating the Stratolaunch for many years, with many delays which have been noticeable within the sector. Today, 20th June 2016, a progress update was posted about the current construction progress of the first Stratolaunch.

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Stratolaunch currently being constructed – Vulcan Inc.

The Executive Director and President of Vulcan Aerospace, Chuck Beames, described the craft as, “jaw-dropping when you walk into that hangar”. The hangar is located at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and the plane is currently being constructed within the 103,000 square foot hanger. However construction is behind schedule, due to design changes and the added stress of losing the rocket providers which were initially being considered for the Stratolaunch. It is understood that the initial provider was SpaceX, using a Falcon 5, later to be changed for a reengineered Falcon 9. It was later made public that SpaceX withdrew from the deal and Stratolaunch had no launcher for its business. Following the withdrawal of SpaceX, Orbital Sciences (now known as Orbital ATK) approached and agreed with Vulcan Inc. to modify their Antares launcher to fly with Stratolaunch. It was to be described as a larger version of the Pegasus launcher which is still in action today. However to this date, Orbital Sciences withdrew also from venturing their orbital rocket with Stratolauch and Vulcan Inc.

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A typical launch trajectory for Stratolaunch and Payload – Vulcan Inc.

It is currently understood publicly that no rocket has been adopted/designed to the Stratolaunch. This has yet to be addressed. However Beames has argued otherwise, “We have a business plan, a strategy that Paul has approved.” It is believed that as early as next year the big Stratolaunch could be on test flights around Mojave, with becoming part of the American launcher fleet by the end of the decade, posing that no further financial or further withdrawals from the business occurs.