Massive fuel tank arrives at Wallops DelmarvaNow.com
A 162-foot-long, 56-wheeled vehicle transporting the largest tank of the fuel farm needed to launch Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Taurus II rocket arrived Monday at Wallops Island after a three-month journey from Mexico.
WMDT-47 News has an interesting story the shows the importance of Wallops Island in Virginia to the Maryland economy:
On Monday, Governor Martin O’Malley will tour the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, one of the oldest launch sites in the world. NASA and the other organizations at Wallops, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) employ approximately 1,800 civilian positions, including government and contractor jobs, 700 of which are held by Marylanders…
Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the worldâ€™s leading space technology companies, today announced it has received two separate orders from NASA to launch scientific satellites on its industry-leading small rockets, PegasusÂ® XL and TaurusÂ® XL. These contracts bring the total Pegasus and Taurus orders to 55 vehicles since the first Pegasus was purchased in 1988. Taken together, the two rockets have launched or will boost a total of 35 NASA scientific and technology demonstration spacecraft on 30 missions since 1990.
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.
Commercial Companies Ready to Blaze New Trails in Space Space.com
[SpaceX] has already successfully won a NASA contract for $1.6 billion to transport cargo to the space station aboard its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. Another firm, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences, is building its own Taurus 2 rockets and unmanned Cygnus spaceships in a $1.9 billion contract to haul supplies for NASA as well.
Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, and its Russian partner United Engine Corporation (UEC), announced today the signing of a cooperation agreement regarding their next steps in the companiesâ€™ cooperative efforts to provide NK-33 and AJ26 rocket engines to the commercial launch market.
Space News reports that there will be a slight delay in the first flight of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s new Taurus II rocket:
Dulles, Va.-based Orbital, in a conference call with investors, said a series of minor delays in development of the companyâ€™s new Taurus 2 rocket and its Cygnus space station cargo transporter will push the inaugural Taurus 2/Cygnus launch into May or June 2011 instead of the March date earlier targeted.
New Private Space Freighter Has Solid Backing Space.com
Orbital’s cylindrical Cygnus freighter includes a pressurized cargo module that can carry up to 5,952 pounds (2,700 kg) of payload. Its service module contains avionics, power, communications and command and control.
“The service module is being designed to human safety standards, because it operates in close proximity with the space station before the robotic arm grapple,” Beneski noted…
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.
Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB – News) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2009. Fourth quarter 2009 revenues were $282.3 million, compared to $305.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Fourth quarter 2009 operating income was $14.7 million, compared to $16.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Net income was $9.3 million, or $0.16 diluted earnings per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to net income of $9.0 million, or $0.15 diluted earnings per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. Orbital generated $8.3 million of free cash flow* in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to free cash flow of $14.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
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.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has received a $2.4M (USD) contract from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide a critical interface that will enable capture and mating of the Cygnus cargo delivery spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The contract also contains an option to purchase additional units for follow-on operational missions worth at least $4.0M (USD).
Orbital Sciences Corporation, a world leader in smaller-sized civil government and national security satellites, announced today that it has been awarded a Phase 2 contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, VA, to develop the final design for â€œSystem F6â€ (Future Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft).