Off the wire
Australian dollar rises against the greenback at the start of week  • Study suggests walk faster, sit less to build on health  • 2nd LD-Writethru: See-off ceremony held for Chinese astronauts of Shenzhou-11 mission  • Thriller "The Accountant" debuts to be No.1 at North American box office  • Car accident in north Greece sparks protest from refugees  • Serbia adopts draft agreement on visa liberalization with China  • Airstrikes kill 31 in Syria's Aleppo: monitor  • Astronauts entering Shenzhou-11 spacecraft  • Venezuelan aid vessel arrives in Cuba to help repair damage from Hurricane Matthew  • Brazilian president vows to get country "back on track  
You are here:   Home

Orbital ATK delays launch of ISS cargo ship by 24 hours

Xinhua, October 17, 2016 Adjust font size:

U.S. aerospace firm Orbital ATK on Sunday delayed the launch of its sixth resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for 24 hours due to a glitch with a ground support equipment cable.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo ship was originally scheduled to blast off on an upgraded version of its Antares rocket from Virginia's Wallops Flight Facility on Sunday evening.

But hours before the planned liftoff, the company said in a statement a pre-launch check-out found a ground support equipment cable "did not perform as expected," prompting the 24-hour postponement.

"We have spares on hand and rework procedures are in process. The Antares and Cygnus teams are not currently working any technical issues with the rocket or the spacecraft," the statement said. "The launch is now scheduled for October 17 at 7:40 p.m. EDT (2340GMT)."

The upcoming flight will be the first resupply mission to launch on the upgraded Antares 230 vehicle, and the first launch from Wallops since an Antares rocket and its Cygnus resupply vehicle were lost seconds after liftoff in October 2014.

An investigation into the accident found a failure in one of the two Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 engines, leading to a decision by Orbital ATK to replace them with RD-181, which was developed specifically for Antares by Russians.

Since the accident, two Cygnus resupply missions were launched on United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets to the station from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Virginia-based Orbital ATK is one of two U.S. companies that provide ISS cargo services for NASA. The other company is California-based SpaceX. Endite