An American Antares rocket with Russian engines launch to the ISS

CAPE WALLOPS flight facility (USA), 18 Jul — RIA Novosti, Alexander Kovalev. Equipped with two Russian engines of the first stage RD-181, the American rocket Antares will be the first time in history will be launched on 18 October to the International space station (ISS) with a space truck Cygnus, reported the correspondent of RIA Novosti news Agency owned by a private company Orbital ATK launch pad of the spaceport at Cape wallops flight facility.

Rocket with a cargo spacecraft was to be launched from the spaceport at Cape wallops flight facility (Virginia) in 20.03 (03.03 GMT Monday). Seven hours before the start of the company that owns the rocket said the postponement of the launch for 24 hours due to the fact that the cable ground equipment was not working properly during pre-flight checks.

Start is appointed at 19.40 by the time the U.S. East coast on Monday (2.40 GMT on Tuesday).

The launch of a new modification of the booster, called Antares 230, has been postponed from July 2016. American experts thus play safe, after what happened in October 2014 of the accident, when the previous model Antares, equipped with other engines (produced by AeroJet AJ-26, a modification of the Russian N-33), exploded during launch.

For the new model Antares American experts chose Russian engines RD-181 production near Moscow NPO “Energomash”. Khimki enterprise in less than a year developed, manufactured, conducted the certification and start of deliveries of the RD-181 for Antares. A contract to supply eight engines of this model was signed in December 2014. In the summer of 2015 the first commercial samples of RD-181 was raised in the United States. Manufacture and supply of RD-181 continue in accordance with the terms of the contract.

In preparation for the long-awaited launch was attended by Ukrainian specialists. However, as previously said in an interview with RIA Novosti General Director of NPO “Energomash” Igor Arbuzov, Russian and Ukrainian experts worked separately on the American spaceport on the program of preparation for the first launch. Despite the protracted crisis in relations between Moscow and Kiev, the Ukrainian enterprise “CB “South” and SE “Pivdenmash” (Dnepropetrovsk), as well as the Russian “Energomash” (Khimki) continue to be participants in the program production and launch preparation on the American program Antares. Ukraine solves its tasks in the production of fuel tanks, high pressure tanks, valves, sensors, fuel supply system and power supply, and Russia – its associated with the supply of engines of the first stage RD-180 and their adaptation to the media. A private American company Orbital ATK acted as an integrator and regulator of all works.

The upgraded launch vehicle Antares to deliver to the ISS private space truck Cygnus (“Swan”). The ship consists of two sections — instrument and cargo. As well as Russian, Japanese and European space transportation vehicles, U.S. “the Swan” is a one-off.

Previous ship of this model were sent to the station with another rocket — Atlas V produced by the American company United Launch Alliance (ULA). The truck was undocked from the ISS on June 14 for the experiment Saffire for the study of flame propagation inside the ship and launch small satellites that have become part of a group of devices that monitors weather conditions and tracking the movement of marine vessels. Before undocking, the crew loaded the ship more than a ton of waste materials. At the stage of Autonomous flight of an outer container of Cygnus, was preparing to launch five satellites Lemur-2. Four satellites have successfully logged out of the containers, one didn’t work, so with the ship was de-orbited and burned in the dense layers of Earth’s atmosphere.