Antares 230+ rocket launches Cygnus NG-19 cargo craft to ISS on its final flight (Corrected)

by | Aug 2, 2023 | International Space Station, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent war between the nations has had ramifications for launches. The most obvious ones were removals of western-built satellites from Russian Soyuz or Proton launches, either as part of retaliatory sanctions or because of launch cancellation reprisals for such sanctions.

However, other launches and launch vehicles have also been affected. The Northrop Grumman Antares 200 rocket series has been ended after the hardware supply from those nations dried up. Specifically, the current Antares 200 rocket series uses the Russian-built (NPO Energomash) RD-181 engine on its first stage, which is itself built by Ukraine (Yuzhnoye State Design Office and the Yuzhmash Machine Building plant). As such, the Antares 230+ rocket made its final flight from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (‘MARS’) launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia, US at 0031 GMT on 2 August.

The launch was carrying the Cygnus NG-19 cargo freighter (also referred to as SS Laurel Clarke) to low Earth orbit on its way to supply the International Space Station (ISS). It was carrying 3,785 kg of cargo including food, water, scientific equipment and hardware for the ISS.

The Antares 200 rocket series is being replaced by a new rocket design dubbed the Antares 330, which is being built. In the meantime, Cygnus cargo craft will be launched using SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.

The final Antares 230+ rocket blasts off from Wallops Island carrying Cygnus NG-19. Courtesy: Northrop Grumman

 

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