PHOTOS: Antares rocket parts in the hangar

Posted: April 19, 2011

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Most of the components for the first test launch of the Antares rocket have arrived at the vehicle's horizontal integration facility about a mile north of its launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va.

Orbital Sciences Corp. is leading development of the Antares booster and Cygnus spacecraft to haul cargo to the International Space Station. The first test launch of Antares is expected this summer.

These images show the Ukrainian-built first stage, solid-fueled ATK-built second stage, and the AJ26 engines for the first launch of Antares this summer.

The first stage structure, designed by Yuzhnoye and built by Yuzhmash in Ukraine, is based on the Zenit rocket. Two Aerojet AJ26 kerosene-fueled engines will power the Antares first stage, and one of the engines was being attached to the first stage thrust frame when Spaceflight Now visited the hangar Wednesday.

The AJ26 engines are modified NK-33 engines manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s for the Soviet Union's ill-fated N1 moon rocket program.

Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now


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