Ukraine has shipped the first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Taurus II rocket to the United States. has reported.”The assembly of the basic part of the first stage of the booster was completed at the Makarov Yuzhny Machine Building Plant in October. The cargo left the port of Oktiabrsk in Mykolaiv region for the Wallops Flight Facility,” the Yuzhnoye State Design Office said in a statement.
Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that it held a formal dedication ceremony earlier today to mark the completion of a new facility that will serve as the Mission Operations Center (MOC) for the companyâ€™s cargo logistics missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA that begin in 2011. The ribbon-cutting event was attended by NASAâ€™s Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. and several other senior representatives of the space agency.
Spaceflight Nowreports that the schedule has slipped for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s test flights of the Taurus II rocket and the Cygnus freighter designed to resupply the International Space Station. The current schedule is:
Taurus II without Cygnus — July to September 2011
Taurus II with Cygnus — Two or three months later
Taurus II with Cygnus to ISS: Early 2012
OSC had been originally aiming to launch the first Taurus II in March 2011. However, that schedule had slipped several months already.
Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced that its AJ26 engine was hot-fire tested today at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. In support of the TaurusÂ® II launch vehicle program, Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital), Aerojet and NASA conducted this first of three hot-fire engine tests to be performed throughout the next several weeks.
SpaceFlightNow reports that there could be a funding gap upcoming in NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDEV) programs:
Some companies could see a gap in funding between the first and second rounds of NASA’s procurement to help develop commercial crew transportation services for low Earth orbit, according to the agency’s top exploration official.
A couple of brief SpaceX related news items. Space News reports that the next Falcon 9 launch has slipped from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8 or 9. The rocket will launch the first Dragon cargo freighter on a test flight. The program is already running two years behind the original schedule.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has requested Oct. 23 on the 45th Space Wingâ€™s calendar for launch of its second Falcon 9 rocket, which will aim to place a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit.
The flight is the first of up to three launches planned under SpaceXâ€™s $278-million Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract with NASA, which is intended to help pay for the rocket and capsuleâ€™s design, development and flight testing.
SpaceX had been hoping to launch the rocket in September but extra preparation time was required.
SpaceX Seeks To Drop a Dragon Flight from COTSâ€‚Plan Space News
Buoyed by the successful debut of its Falcon 9 rocket June 4, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Corp. is hoping to persuade NASA to waive one of three planned test flights designed to prove its reusable Dragon capsule can ferry cargo to the international space station.
WALLOPS: Huge rocket to make its way on Delmarva highways this week Delmarvanow
People traveling on Delmarvaâ€™s highways Wednesday night and Thursday morning may encounter an unusual sight that is evidence of the areaâ€™s growing space investment.
A 95-foot-long tractor-trailer specially constructed by an Ohio company will be transporting a full-size mockup of the first stage of Orbital Sciencesâ€™ Taurus II rocket roughly 150 miles across portions of three states â€” from the Wilmington, Del., port to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.
Aerojet, a GenCorp company, and Orbital Sciences Corporation, along with Aerojet’s Russian partner, SNTK, announced today that a series of NK-33 rocket engine tests conducted in Samara, Russia were successfully completed in support of the development of Orbital’s TaurusÂ® II space launch vehicle.
The purpose of the extended-time testing of the NK-33 engine, on which the AJ26 first-stage engine for the Taurus II rocket is based, was to demonstrate a ‘hot-fire’ duration equal to two times a normal Taurus II acceptance testing and launch profile duty cycle. Over the last two weeks, three tests were conducted by SNTK with a cumulative duration of more than 600 seconds. These tests verified the significant technical margins on engine performance and durability required by Orbital’s Taurus II development program.
NASA is proposing to add $300 million to its commercial cargo program in 2011 in part to keep Orbital Sciences Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) on track to begin delivering cargo to the international space station next year.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces that all flight hardware for the debut launch of the Falcon 9 vehicle has arrived at the SpaceX launch site, Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Final delivery included the Falcon 9 second stage, which recently completed testing at SpaceXâ€™s test facility in McGregor, Texas. SpaceX has now initiated full vehicle integration of the 47 meter (154 feet) tall, 3.6 meter (12 feet) diameter rocket, which will include a Dragon spacecraft qualification unit.
NASA will not be getting the $1 billion budget boost civil space advocates had hoped to see when President Barack Obama sends his 2011 spending proposal to Congress Feb. 1, requiring the U.S. space agency to make even tougher than expected choices about the future of its manned space program, according to sources with close ties to the administration. These sources declined to reveal the fate of NASAâ€™s planned Ares 1 crew launch vehicle, which many observers see as a likely cancellation target, but they did say the budget proposal would fund a multibillion-dollar effort to foster development of commercial systems for ferrying astronauts to the international space station.
SpaceX Sets Window for First Dragon Flight to ISS Space News
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) said Dec. 3 that it expects to launch its cargo-carrying Dragon capsule on its first flight to the international space station (ISS) sometime between May and November 2010.