Orbital ATK Reviewing Test Data from Hot Fire Test - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Orbital ATK Reviewing Test Data from Hot Fire Test

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(Photo: Screen grab from Orbital video) (Photo: Screen grab from Orbital video)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - Orbital ATK conducted a successful full-power test of the upgraded first stage propulsion system of its Antares rocket Tuesday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Accomack County.

The 30-second test took place at 5:30 p.m. at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0A.

Orbital said Tuesday night that initial indications suggest that the test was fully successful, and the Antares engineering team will review test data over the next two weeks to confirm that all test parameters were met. The confirmation of a successful test will clear the way for Orbital ATK to resume cargo resupply services to the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, currently scheduled for July. 

“Early indications show the upgraded propulsion system, core stage and launch complex all worked together as planned,” said Mike Pinkston, Orbital ATK General Manager and Vice President, Antares Program. “Congratulations to the combined NASA, Orbital ATK and Virginia Space team on a successful test.”

The primary goal of the test was to verify the functionality of the integrated first stage, including new engines, modified Stage 1 core, avionics, thrust vector control and pad fueling systems in an operational environment.

Orbital said the test also met a number of operational milestones including full propellant loading sequence, launch countdown and engine ignition and shut down commands, as well as multiple throttle settings including full engine power. Additionally, the test validated the launch pad’s operation, including propellant tanking and the use of the water deluge system to protect the pad from damage and suppress noise. 

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