Cygnus to fly on Atlas

An Atlas V-401 of the variant Orbital will fly on to send its next Cygnus to the ISS. ULA

An Atlas V-401 of the variant Orbital will fly on to send its next Cygnus to the ISS. ULA

Following the loss of Antares on 28 October 2014 and the decision by operator Orbital Sciences to choose a different propulsion system for its rocket, the next Cygnus will launch on an Atlas V-401 in the fourth quarter of 2015. This may be followed by a second flight in early 2016 on another Atlas V-401 if the new launcher is not ready.

Increased launch capacity provided by this version of Atlas will allow Orbital Sciences to lift more cargo on each flight and so catch up with the required logistical upload required in the Commercial resupply Services Contract with NASA.

A full report on this and a review of the details plus analysis of the consequences and knock-on effect will appear in your next edition of Spaceflight, out early January.

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