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 NASA to launch Antares OA-5 rocket with Ukraine-made engines

The Antares launch of the mission, designated OA-5, will take place on Oct. 18 at 2:40 a.m. Kyiv time/Oct. 17 at 7:40 p.m. EDT.

Censor.NET reports citing Orbital ATK.

The OA-5 mission will be Orbital ATK's fifth operational cargo delivery mission for NASA and marks the return of flight operations to NASA Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The Antares medium-class rocket will boost Cygnus, carrying approximately 2,400 kilograms of cargo to support the crew on the International Space Station. The spacecraft is slated to rendezvous and berth with the station on Oct. 19, 2016.

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The Antares vehicle features all-new RD-181 engines, which provide increased performance to the Orbital ATK cargo delivery service. The engines were made in the framework of international cooperation, involving, inter alia, the Ukrainian state enterprises. Thus, t he basic design of the central units of the first stage of launch vehicle were designed by "Pivdenmash" (the State Enterprise "Pivdennyi Machine-Building Plant named after Makarov) in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises such as "Hartron Arkos" (Kharkiv), "Kyivprylad" (Kyiv), "Hartron-Ucom" (Zaporizhia), "Chesara" and "Rapid" (Chernihiv).

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Under the CRS-1 contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver approximately 66,000 pounds (30,000 kilograms) of cargo to the International Space Station through 2018. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will carry out a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA's CRS-2 contract. The partnership is cultivating a robust American commercial space industry, freeing NASA to focus on developing the next-generation rocket and spacecraft that will enable humans to conduct deep space exploration missions.

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