Antares

The Antares is a newer expendable launch vehicle designed and manufactured by Orbital ATK. The Antares is launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Complex 0 in Wallops Island, Virginia.The rocket was originally known as, “Taurus II” up until December 12, 2011. The launch vehicle has three different configurations that have the names: “100-series,” “200-series,” and “300-series.” The first flight of the Antares happened on April 21st, 2013 using the 100-series configuration. The rocket, so far, has had a total of 7 launches. To add more detail, the 110-series Antares launched twice successfully, the 120-series launched twice as well (successfully), the 130-series launched once (which failed), and the 230-series launched 3 times (successfully). Out of those 7 launches, the Antares 130-series was the only one to fail due to an explosion in the liquid oxygen turbopump in one of the engines in the launch vehicles first stage. Furthermore, the Antares, depending on the series, stands between 40.5 and 42.5 meters long (133-139 feet). The diameter of the launch vehicle stays consistent at 3.9 meters (13.9 feet). Moreover, the Antares uses two Aj26-62 engines in the first stage, that produces roughly, 3,262kN of thrust (734,000 pounds of thrust). The second stage of the Antares uses either a Castor 30A, 30B, or 30XL depending on the intended orbit and payload. The Castor 30A can produce 259kN of thrust (58,000 pounds of thrust). On top of that the Castor 30B can generate 293.4kN of thrust (65,960 pounds of thrust). Lastly, the Castor 30XL can create 474kN (107,000 pounds of thrust). However, the Antares does offer two different optional third stages as well. The first option for the third stage is a STAR 48-Based. The second option for the third stage is Bi-propellent. Above all, the Antares can hold a payload capacity of 8,000kg to Low Earth Orbit. Ultimately, the Antares is still active. The next scheduled launch is set for November 10th, 2018.

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