la rampe de lancement gravement endommagée
Dernière édition par Paul le Mar 28 Oct 2014 - 23:56, édité 1 fois
Thompson said preliminary evidence from telemetry and debris recovered at the state-owned Antares launch complex on Wallops Island, Virginia, "strongly suggests" that one of the two AJ-26s on the vehicle failed 15 seconds after ignition. The engine had passed a hot-fire acceptance test at Stennis Space Center, where last May another AJ-26 failed when its oxygen turbopump essentially "came apart," in the words of William Gerstenmaier, associate NASA administrator for human exploration and operations.
Initial evidence also points to the turbomachinery as the site of the more recent AJ-26 failure, Thompson said. The ensuing explosion, which was triggered by range safety officers shortly before the fuel-filled vehicle fell back to Earth, caused "relatively limited damage" to the pad, and should be repairable at a "small fraction" of the time and money that went into the pad’s initial construction.
An initial assessment by NASA found the transporter/erector that lifts the Antares into the vertical position was damaged by the blast, as were fuel lines, wiring and the pad’s lightning protection system. Thompson said equipment owned by Orbital is covered by insurance.
"From a financial standpoint, the impacts to Orbital are not expected to be material on an annual basis in 2015, although the exact magnitude and timing of quarterly changes will depend on which of several specific variations on the overall plan we settle on," Thompson said. "And in any event, I do not expect any significant adverse financial impacts in 2016 or in future years."
After over one and a half years worth of work, Orbital ATK is set to return their newly revamped and improved Antares rocket to flight, following the October 2014 mishap. Orbital ATK is currently targeting a May/June 2016 launch of the OA-5 flight for Antares’ Return To Flight mission.
An Antares first stage with the RD-181 engines successfully completed a static fire test on the pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, in late May. NASA and Orbital ATK were planning an Aug. 22 launch of the Antares, but postponed the launch Aug. 10. At the time, the company cited both the schedule of activities on the ISS as well as “continuing processing, inspection and testing” of the Antares for the delay, saying the launch would be rescheduled for the second half of September. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/antares-return-to-flight-now-planned-for-early-october/#sthash.OSdgEzsj.dpuf