Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket will ship a Cygnus provide ship into orbit Thursday to start a pursuit of the Worldwide Area Station.
The rocket’s two RD-181 engines will ignite round 3.7 seconds earlier than liftoff from pad 0A on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a fancy owned by the state of Virginia at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
Launch is timed for 12:36 p.m. EDT Saturday, Feb. 20.
The primary stage’s two RD-181 engines will energy as much as 864,000 kilos of thrust and burn for Three minutes, 18 seconds, then separate from the higher stage’s Castor 30XL motor about six seconds later.
The launch, often called NG-15 in Northrop Grumman’s station resupply manifest, would be the ninth Antares mission utilizing new, extra highly effective RD-181 engines, which the corporate ordered from the Russian engine-builder NPO Energomash to switch decades-old Russian-built AJ26 engines blamed for an Antares rocket crash seconds after liftoff in October 2014.
As soon as the primary stage finishes its job on the NG-15 launch, the Antares rocket’s 12.8-foot-diameter (3.9-meter) diameter payload shroud will jettison in two halves at round T+plus Three minutes, 54 seconds. An interstage adapter that related the primary and second levels will separate at T+plus Three minutes, 59 seconds.
The launcher’s Castor 30XL solid-fueled higher stage will ignite at T+plus four minutes, 7 seconds, and generate as much as 104,300 kilos of thrust throughout a burn lasting roughly 2 minutes, 45 seconds. The second stage motor will burn out at roughly T+plus 6 minutes, 52 seconds, then deploy the Cygnus spacecraft at round T+plus Eight minutes, 52 seconds.
The spacecraft’s two cymbal-shaped electricity-generating photo voltaic arrays will unfurl in a fan-like movement round two hours into the mission, and the ship’s thrusters will start fine-tuning its strategy to the house station with a sequence of course-correction burns, organising for a laser-guided ultimate strategy Monday, Feb. 22.
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