Orbital ATK has contracted with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for an Atlas V rocket for the company’s next cargo resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station. This will be Cygnus’ third flight atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch is targeted for spring 2017.
This mission is one of Orbital ATK’s previously awarded 11 missions under its first commercial resupply services (CRS-1) contract with NASA. Both the agency and Orbital ATK mutually agreed to use of the Atlas V in order to expedite the company’s seventh contracted resupply mission, and their CRS-1 contract was modified Nov. 8, 2016.
“We’re continuously working with all our partners on range availability, space station traffic and other factors to maximize utilization, operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system, including the Journey to Mars,” said Kirk Shireman, manager, ISS Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.