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Antares Rocket Explodes After Launch


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(CNN) -- The unmanned Antares rocket that exploded off the coast of Virginia was deliberately destroyed after it became apparent there was a problem, a spokesman for Orbital Sciences Corporation said Thursday.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/30/us/antares-rocket-explosion/index.html

Operator in Rocket Blast Hit Self-Destruct When Problem Became Clear... Source: https://time.com/3550794/antares-nasa-iss-rocket-explosion/

Antares Rocket Update: Company confirms self-destruct system engaged... Source: http://whnt.com/2014/10/31/antares-rocket-update-company-confirms-self-destruct-system-engaged/

Any questions??

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Orbital Sciences has announced that last week’s Antares rocket explosion was most likely caused by a fault in one of the rocket’s two refurbished Russian AJ-26 rocket engines. Prior to the launch failure, Orbital already had a long-term plan to replace these engines by 2016 — and now, it is unlikely that any more Antares rockets will be flown until the engines are changed. In the meantime, Orbital Sciences will try to launch the Cygnus resupply craft with other commercial space launch systems (it was designed to be mated to other rockets, not just Antares).


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  • 1 month later...

NASA knew there was a major problem with the AJ-26 engines


Documents: NASA knew aging metal could crack

By Melody Petersen, Los Angeles Times

Tribune News Service

© January 5, 2015

Years before an unmanned rocket erupted in a fireball on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in October, NASA officials knew the metal in its 50-year-old Soviet-made engines could crack, causing fuel to leak and ignite, government documents show.

As early as 2008, a NASA committee warned about the “substantial” risk of using the decades-old engines, and a fire during a 2011 engine test in Mississippi heightened the agency’s concern.

The engines had a “fundamental flaw in the materials,” a top manager for NASA’s contracted rocket builder, Orbital Sciences, said in a 2013 interview with an agency historian. The Soviet engines were built in the 1960s and 1970s in a failed attempt to take cosmonauts to the moon.

“They were never designed to be in storage that long,” said the Orbital manager, Ken Eberly, deputy director for the rocket program.

continues http://hamptonroads.com/node/739681

Edited by Merc14
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  • 9 months later...

Workers complete $15 million in repairs to Antares launch pad

Repair crews in Virginia have restored the Antares booster’s launch pad — damaged in an explosive rocket crash nearly one year ago — to flight-ready status as the Orbital ATK launcher moves toward a return-to-flight in 2016.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, a Virginia government agency which owns pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, announced the repair milestone in a press release Sept. 30.

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  • 4 weeks later...

NASA Team Provides Summary of its Review of Orbital ATK Accident

A NASA team that independently reviewed the unsuccessful launch last year of Orbital ATK’s third commercial resupply services mission intended to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) has completed its report and publicly released an executive summary of its findings.

Executive Summary: NASA Independent Review Team Orb–3 Accident Investigation Report

Shortly after 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket suffered an anomaly during launch from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia that resulted in the loss of the rocket and its cargo and damage to the launch pad. No workers or members of the public were injured as a result of the accident.

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