On October 17, Antares launch vehicle was sent into space from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island in Virginia, the USA.
Antares put into orbit Cygnus cargo spacecraft, which aimed to deliver to the International Space Station about 3,450-kilo payload, including equipment for science experiments, food, and other vital supplies for the space station’s crew.
The launch vehicle was created by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, former Orbital ATK Corporation, (the USA) in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises. The basic design of the Antares first stage was developed by the State Enterprise Pivdenne Design Office and produced by the Production Association Pivdennyi Machine-Building Plant named after Makarov in cooperation with the Ukrainian enterprises Khartron-ARCOS (Kharkiv), Kyivprylad (Kyiv), Khartron-Yukom (Zaporizhia), “CHEZARA”, “RAPID” (Chernihiv) and others.
Notably, preparation for Antares testing and launch was carried out with the participation of Ukrainian specialists.
This was the ninth launch of Antares, contracted by NASA. The next launch is scheduled for April 2019.
As a part of Antares program, the Ukrainian side completed a whole range of design, development and, manufacturing of the launch vehicle’s initial design of the first stage, commissioned by the National Space Agency of the USA.
The Antares project is a successful example of cooperation of space industry enterprises of Ukraine in international space projects and presence of the Ukrainian rocket and space industry in the world space market.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: State Space Agency of Ukraine