Antares ORB-D1

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The second Antares launch, known as ORB-D1, set sail from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean Sept. 18, 2013, taking just a few minutes to penetrate the edge of space. This was the first Antares vehicle to actually carry the new Cygnus spacecraft, ferrying approximately 1,800 pounds of cargo to the ISS.

RMMO personnel had only 11 days to compress approximately 30 days of work in preparation for ORB-D1 following the successful launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. This quick turn around required focused project management to arrange the Mission Dress Rehearsal, combined systems testing, Range endto- end testing, and downrange systems verifications checks on the fixed instrumentation systems at the Wallops Range and mobile sites at Bermuda and Coquina, N.C.

Either of these two enormous programs would be challenging to any Range; however, considering the complex deployment of mobile systems and the interwoven schedules of two separate medium-class space vehicles, RMMO personnel performed remarkably both at home and abroad. The teams made seamless configuration changes for telemetry, radar, command and control, optical services, and many other services to support the prelaunch requirements.

This dramatic Range turnaround also shows the strong partnerships RMMO has with Orbital and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), owner of the Pad 0A facility. These three entities worked tirelessly to prepare the vehicle, launch facilities and the Range for operations.

A bright future is forecasted for Antares as two to three launches are scheduled for 2014.

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