Orbital ATK's Antares rocket returns to flight with highly-anticipated launch

By Cristina Limpiada | Oct 22, 2016 04:16 AM EDT
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Orbital ATK's Antares rocket returned to flight last October 17 after a massive failure nearly two years ago. 

As per Space.com, the ATK Antares Rocket has successfully made its launched into space, as it departed NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on a very particular mission, which is to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

Antares Rocket now has an upgraded hardware and its tools are now designed to encounter less failure. Fortunately, it successfully soared into the night sky at 7:45 p.m. EDT, October 17, equipped with Orbital ATK's unscrewed Cygnus cargo capsule.

Furthermore, many are given the opportunity to observe how ATK Antares rocket launched, especially those along the U.S. East Coast - from those in cities way up north such as Boston to as far south as central South Carolina,

Over 5,000 pounds of cargo needs to be delivered to crew members aboard the ISS, and the Antares rocket is the most reliable to do the job and deliver the Cygnus spacecraft. According to Tech Crunch, the October 17 launch was particularly special, because it is an Orbital ATK who got the contract with NASA to provide 66,000 pounds of Cargo to the ISS through the year 2018.

Orbital ATK's agony bore fruit after working for two years of experiments and preparations. The Antares rocket's main engine was changed noticeably.

Though the exact cause of the 2014 explosion was totally not traced, Orbital ATK believed that it was mainly related to machining error in the AJ-26, so this time it was replaced.

Cygnus, through the Antares rocket, will bring crew supplies, computer resources, spacewalk equipment and 1,000 pounds of science investigations to the five crew members on the ISS. The setup is similar to that of Sapphire-I and Sapphire-II, wherein the experiments are conducted inside Cygnus and will only begin after Cygnus was separated from the Antares rocket.

After this, Orbital ATK's high-anticipated launch of the Antares rocket in November will follow through a month-long sojourn in space. It is expected to return to Earth after a month of being attached to the ISS. The spacecraft will be filled with 2,000 pounds of trash.

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