NASA plans to launch an Orbital ATK-built Cygnus spacecraft from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V rocket in spring 2017 to perform the next cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station, Daily Press reported Tuesday.
Barron “Barry” Beneski, a spokesman for Orbital ATK, said the decision to launch the OA-7 mission from Cape Canaveral instead of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island in Virginia is “primarily more of a NASA issue, with interest in more cargo and better schedule assurance,” Tamara Dietrich writes.
Dietrich reports that Orbital ATK expects to return to the MARS site in Virginia after the spring 2017 launch from Cape Canaveral in order to perform four additional launches until 2018.
“We’ll be back to launching from Wallops this summer,” said Beneski.
“And then we’re going to carry out three missions in pretty rapid succession — almost once every three for four months,” Beneski added, according to the report.
Orbital ATK launched its Cygnus space vehicle in October from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia onboard the company’s updated Antares 230 rocket as part of the firm’s sixth cargo delivery mission to the ISS.
The mission also marked the first Antares rocket launch from Wallops since the October 2014 explosion.