Frank Culbertson, president of Orbital ATK’s space systems group, has said the company expects NASA to decide soon on whether to use its Antares vehicle or the United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket in Cygnus spacecraft’s future cargo missions as part of the Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract, Space News reported Tuesday.
Jeff Foust writes Culbertson made the remarks a day before the scheduled launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft aboard Atlas V to carry out the seventh cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station under the company’s first CRS contract with NASA.
“On CRS-2, NASA hasn’t actually told us exactly which missions they’ll want on which vehicles,” Culbertson said Monday during a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“We’re waiting to see which way they’d like for us to go, whether it’s a mix or all one or the other,” he added.
Culbertson noted that Orbital ATK plans to use the Antares rocket for the remaining ISS cargo missions under the CRS-1 contract with plans to launch the next mission by the summer of 2017 contingent upon cargo requirements and ISS schedules, according to Space News.