Antares A-ONE

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Antares A-ONE
Antares A-ONE mission emblem.png
Mission emblem
Operator Orbital Sciences
Major contractors Orbital Sciences
Mission type Demonstration
Launch date 21 April 2013, 21:00 (2013-04-21UTC21) UTC (17:00 EDT)[1]
Launch vehicle Antares 110[2] A-ONE
Launch site MARS LP-0A
Mission duration 603 seconds[3]
COSPAR ID 2013-016A
SATCAT 39142
Mass ~3800 kg
Orbital elements
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.64°[4]
Apoapsis 260 kilometres (160 mi)[4]
Periapsis 241 kilometres (150 mi)[4]

The Antares A-ONE is the maiden flight of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket with a boilerplate payload, the Cygnus Mass Simulator, which was launched April 21, 2013.[5] It was launched from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.[4] The boilerplate payload simulates the mass of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.[4] This dummy payload was sent into an orbit of "approximately 150 by 160 miles" (240 km x 260 km) with an inclination of 51.6 degrees.[5]

Four Spaceflight Inc. CubeSat nanosatellites were deployed from the dummy payload.[6]

This launch along with several other activities leading up to it, are paid milestones under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.[7]


The primary payload is the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS), it has a height of 199.25 inches (5,061 mm), a diameter of 114 inches (2,900 mm) and a mass of 8,400 pounds (3,800 kg).[8] It is equipped with 22 accelerometers, 2 microphones, 12 digital thermometers, 24 thermocouples and 12 strain gages.[8]

The secondary payloads are four CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS.[8] Three of them are PhoneSats, 1U CubeSats built by NASA's Ames Research Center.[8] These are named Alexander, Graham and Bell, after the inventor of the telephone.[8] The purpose of these three satellites is to demonstrate the use of smart phones as avionics in Cube Sats.[8] They each have a mass of 2.48 pounds (1.124 kg) and are powered by lithium batteries.[8] The fourth nanosat is a 3U CubeSat, called Dove-1, built by Cosmogia Inc. It carries a "technology development Earth imagery experiment" using the Earth's magnetic field for attitude control.[8][9]

Mission timeline[edit]

  • Lift off of the Antares rocket occurs two seconds after the first stage engines are ignited.
  • The first stage engines shut off 228 seconds after lift-off.
  • At 233 seconds, the second stage separates from the first.
  • At 317 seconds, the payload fairing is jettisoned.
  • At 326 seconds, the second stage's engine is ignited.
  • At 481 seconds, the second stage is shut off.
  • At 601 seconds, the Cygnus Mass Simulator separates.[4]
Attempt Planned Result Turnaround Reason Decision point Weather go (%) Notes
1 17 Apr 2013, 5:00:00 pm scrubbed --- technical 17 Apr 2013, 4:44 pm(T-12 hold) 60%[10] Premature disconnect of upper stage umbilical cable during T-12 hold[11]
2 20 Apr 2013, 6:10:00 pm scrubbed 3 days, 1 hour, 10 minutes weather 20 Apr 2013, 4:30 pm 90% [12]
3 21 Apr 2013, 5:00:00 pm success 0 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes 80% First flight of Antares[13]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clark, Stephen (20 April 2013). "Antares A-One Mission Status Center". Spaceflightnow. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Bergin, Chris (2012-02-22). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". NasaSpaceflight (not affiliated with NASA). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  3. ^ NASA/OSC Pre-launch press conference
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Antares A-ONE Test Launch Mission Overview" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Orbital Successfully Launches First Antares Rocket, Orbital Sciences Press release, April 21, 2013
  6. ^ Lindsey, Clark (21 March 2013). "Spaceflight Services installs four nanosats on Antares rocket". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 21 March 2013. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "Space Act Agreement Amendment Seven between NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation for COTS" (PDF). NASA. March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Antares Test Launch "A-ONE Mission" Overview Briefing" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  9. ^ James Mason; Michael Safyan (1 January 2012). "Cosmogia Dove - 1 Orbital Debris Assessment Report". Cosmogia. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "last Orbital Sciences statement on weather", Twitter (Orbital Sciences Corporation) 
  11. ^ "Orbital Sciences statement on scrub", Twitter (Orbital Sciences Corporation) 
  12. ^ "Orbital Sciences statement on next attempt", Twitter (Orbital Sciences Corporation) 
  13. ^ "By WILLIAM HARWOOD / CBS NEWS/ April 21, 2013, 5:44 PM Antares rocket climbs into space on maiden flight". CBS News. 

External links[edit]