On Saturday, February 19 at 12:40 pm ET, the first in 2022 launch of an Antares medium-class launch vehicle (LV) equipped with a Ukrainian first-stage engine took place from the Space Flight Center on Wallops Island (Virginia, USA). .
The main design of the first stage was developed by SE Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and manufactured by SE PO YuMZ (Yuzhmash, Dnipro) in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises Hartron-Arkos (Kharkov), Kievpribor (Kiev), Hartron- Yucom (Zaporozhye), LLC CHEZARA TELEMETRY, RAPID (Chernigov) and others by order of Northrop Grumman Corporation (USA).
The rocket launched the Cygnus automatic cargo transport vehicle carrying 3,729 kg of NASA payload for the International Space Station (ISS) into orbit.
The preparation of the Antares PH, its testing and launch were carried out with the participation of specialists from the State Enterprise Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, the State Enterprise YuMZ Production Association and NPO Khartron-Arkos. At Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, the company's specialists provided real-time technical support for the launch, reception and processing of telemetric information and, as a result, fully ensured the performance of all operations in their sector of responsibility.
As part of the Antares program, the Ukrainian side completed the entire range of work on the design, development and manufacture of the material part of the main structure of the first stage for the launch vehicle.
The Cygnus spacecraft of the NG-17 mission was named after astronaut Piers Sellers in honor of his contribution to the construction of the ISS and for his outstanding work as a meteorologist.
The main objective of the mission is to deliver provisions, equipment for the station and materials for scientific research to the ISS, remove the spent cargo from the ISS and dispose of the spent cargo in the dense layers of the atmosphere.
This is the first Northrop Grumman Corporation mission to orbit the ISS using a docked Cygnus cargo ship.
In total, since 2013, the Antares launch vehicle has launched 16 times, 15 of them successfully.