Orbital successfully launched its new Antares medium-class space launch vehicle on April 21, 2013 with lift-off occurring at approximately 5:00 EDT. The A-ONE Mission originated from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.
The goal of the A-ONE mission was to demonstrate the operational Antares launch system, from roll-out of the rocket from its integration facility, through emplacement on the pad and fueling, to launch and delivery of a simulated payload into low-Earth orbit.
For an overview of the A-ONE Mission, click HERE.
With the successful test launch, Orbital will now work toward the next Antares launch, the Demonstration Mission of cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). The Demonstration Mission is the final operational milestone under the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) agreement. Following the successful completion of the COTS research and development program, Orbital is slated to deliver up to 20,000 kg of supplies to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.
The A-ONE and COTS demonstration missions represent the culmination of Orbital's largest product development in the 30-year history of the company.
For more information:
Orbital Antares Web Page
Orbital Antares Fact Sheet
NASA Commercial Space Transportation Web Site