Author Topic: Orbital receives FAA commercial space transportation license from FAA  (Read 4627 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Orbital Presser:

ORBITAL RECEIVES FAA COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH LICENSE FOR TAURUS II COTS
DEMONSTRATION MISSION

-- Company Secures Required Authorization to Conduct Launch After Extensive
Technical and Management Review --

(Dulles, VA 31 August 2011) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB),
one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that
it received a Commercial Space Transportation Launch License from the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the Commercial Orbital
Transportation Services (COTS) program demonstration mission in early 2012.
An expanded license covering the test flight of the company’s Taurus® II
rocket in late 2011 is expected to be granted in the near future.

To secure the license, Orbital was required to submit extensive technical
and program management data to the FAA about its Taurus II rocket and
Cygnus™ spacecraft to ensure that all necessary operational requirements
and safety precautions are met.  Among the many items reviewed by the FAA
were the rocket’s planned trajectory, ground tracking procedures, onboard
safety and flight termination systems, and the experience and training of
the launch operations team.

“We are very pleased to have been granted the Commercial Space
Transportation Launch License by the FAA well in advance of our scheduled
launch date in early 2012,” said Mr. Brent Collins, Orbital’s Senior Vice
President and Taurus II Program Manager.  “While we are very knowledgeable
of the FAA licensing process because of our extensive experience with
Pegasus and Taurus space launch vehicles, securing the FAA’s approval for a
new rocket system is always challenging because of the rigor of their
oversight.  We feel this is a great vote of confidence in our launch
vehicle design, the robustness of its subsystems, the thoroughness of our
processes, and the training and operational experience of our launch team.”

For the COTS demonstration mission, Orbital will launch a Taurus II rocket
carrying an operational Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft that will
autonomously rendezvous with and operate in close proximity to the
International Space Station (ISS) until it is grappled with a robotic arm
and berthed to the Station. For the earlier Taurus II test flight, an
instrumented Cygnus simulator will be onboard to accurately characterize
the launch environment

About Taurus II

Orbital is developing the Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle to
boost payloads into a variety of low Earth and geosynchronous transfer
orbits and Earth escape trajectories.  Taurus II incorporates proven
technologies from the company’s Pegasus®, Taurus and Minotaur rockets, and
is supported by a “best-in-class” network of suppliers from the U.S. and
around the world.

The Taurus II program currently has a backlog of 10 launches, beginning
with a test launch slated for December 2011, followed by the COTS
demonstration mission in early 2012.  COTS is a joint research and
development effort with NASA to develop a space transportation system
capable of safely and reliably supplying the ISS with essential cargo.
Orbital is also under contract with NASA for the Commercial Resupply
Services (CRS) program with an eight-mission, $1.9 billion agreement to
deliver cargo to the ISS from 2012 through 2015.

In addition to its work with NASA on the COTS and CRS programs, Orbital is
also offering the Taurus II rocket to U.S. civil government, military and
commercial customers for dedicated launch services for medium-class
satellites.  From its launch site at Wallops Island, Virginia, Taurus II
will be capable of supporting mid-inclination and polar orbiting spacecraft
weighing approximately 13,500 lbs. and 5,500 lbs., respectively.  In
addition, Orbital plans to decide in early 2012 on the location of a West
Coast launch site to optimize Taurus II’s performance to high-inclination
orbits.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space
systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.  The
company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including
low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration
spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense
missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other
missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into
orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target
vehicles.  Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related
technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com
« Last Edit: 08/31/2011 02:37 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline robertross

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woot!

Pumped for this.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Prober

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woot!

Pumped for this.

interesting, looks like they have made alot of progress.

How much more is needed to be okeyed?   Can they now setup and do a fueling and engine test?  ( I need to learn the terms)

2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Antares

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All this means is that the FAA thinks the Range can shut off the engines, split the tank(s) open and detonate the solid motor if the rocket is uncontrollable or loses thrust or fails structurally.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Space Pete

From @OrbitalSciences via Twitter:

Orbital receives yet another FAA launch license for Taurus II from NASA Wallops. This one is for the end-of-the-year test flight. We now have FAA launch licenses for the first two Taurus II launches for NASA from NASA Wallops.
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

Offline kevin-rf

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Not to shabby, here's to two flights by year end 8)

Personally, if you ask me, flight two should start just before the stroke of midnight on December 31st... That way they end and start the year on a high note!!!
« Last Edit: 09/02/2011 06:54 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline antonioe

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From @OrbitalSciences via Twitter:

Orbital receives yet another FAA launch license for Taurus II from NASA Wallops. This one is for the end-of-the-year test flight. We now have FAA launch licenses for the first two Taurus II launches for NASA from NASA Wallops.
Not to shabby, here's to two flights by year end 8)

Personally, if you ask me, flight two should start just before the stroke of midnight on December 31st... That way they end and start the year on a high note!!!

Uhhh... I know you had a smily face after your statement, but let me clear up a point:

The "test flight" is the FIRST of the planned Taurus II flights covered by FAA licences, but we received the license for the SECOND ONE FIRST!

We are trying very hard to get that test flight (to orbit - Frank Morrow mistakenly called it a "suborbital test", I hope it does NOT turn out that way) with a dummy payload (Cygnus mass simulator and instrumentation package to verify environments) in December - many challenges ahead, including Wallops pad and Cygnus Joint Test 4 ("JT4") with JSC.

We are scheduled for JT4 in November.  We don't know what happened with SpaceX's JT4, I believe they had to stop it and will be back in December.  Having said that, we ourselves will be struggling getting ready for JT4 in November - NASA expects all the SW to be already verified and under strict CM!

The SECOND flight - the COTS Demo with Cygnus - will be in 1Q2012 (assuming no big surprises with the test flight...)

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline kevin-rf

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Uhhh... I know you had a smily face after your statement, but let me clear up a point:


Well someone needs to be cheering Orbital on ;)

After all, what other new space company is doing this much, is this open, and regularly posts? (Okay, ~Jon at Altius does seem to post a bit more)
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Jose

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Well someone needs to be cheering Orbital on ;)


Are there t-shirts?

« Last Edit: 09/06/2011 08:21 PM by Jose »

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