NASA: Virginia’s next big rocket launch delayed to June

Posted at 5:49 AM, May 29, 2014

WALLOPS, Va. (NASA) – Orbital Sciences Corporation has postponed the launch of the Orbital-2 mission to the International Space Station after an engine test aborted prematurely. The engine being tested at NASA’s Stennis Space Center was slated to be used for a launch in 2015, but Orbital has taken the action to investigate the mishap before attempting to launch Orb-2. Orbital now is looking no earlier than June 17 for the Orb-2 launch.

Image Credit: NASA/P. Black

Orbital published the following message on their website:

Orbital has rescheduled the launch of its Antares rocket for the Orb-2 mission to a date of no earlier than June 17, 2014. Orb-2 is the second of eight cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station under Orbital’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The new launch schedule has been established to allow the engineering teams from the main stage propulsion supplier Aerojet Rocketdyne and Orbital to investigate the causes of an AJ26 engine failure that occurred last week at NASA’s Stennis Space Center during customary acceptance testing. That engine was designated for use in a mission slated for 2015 and was undergoing hot fire testing that all Antares AJ26 engines are subject to in order to ensure nominal performance and acceptance for use in Antares missions. The June 17 is a planning date. The determination of a new firm date will depend on progress of the investigation team, so please check back to this page for further updates.

Rebecca Hudson
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility