Antares A-ONE


Antares A-ONE
Antares 110 rocket for A-ONE mission.jpg
The assembled Antares A-One rocket inside the Horizontal Integration Facility at Wallops Island
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorOrbital Sciences
COSPAR ID2013-016D
SATCAT no.39145
Mission duration19 days
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCygnus mass simulator
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences
Launch mass3,800 kg (8,400 lb)
Dimensions5.061 m × 2.896 m (16.60 ft × 9.50 ft)
Start of mission
Launch date21 April 2013, 21:00:02.2 UTC [1][2]
RocketAntares 110 [3]
Launch siteWallops Island MARS, LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences
End of mission
Decay date10 May 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [4]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude241 km (150 mi)
Apogee altitude260 km (160 mi)
Antares A-ONE mission emblem.png
Antares A-ONE mission patch  

Antares A-ONE was the maiden flight of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket with a boilerplate payload, the Cygnus Mass Simulator, which was launched 21 April 2013.[5] It was launched from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia.[4] The boilerplate payload simulates the mass of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.[4] This dummy payload was sent into an orbit of 241 km × 260 km (150 mi × 162 mi) with an inclination of 51.64°.[5]

Four Spaceflight Inc. CubeSat nanosatellites were deployed from the dummy payload.[6]

This launch along with several other activities leading up to it, are paid milestones under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.[7]


The primary payload was the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS). It had a height of 199.25 in (506.1 cm), a diameter of 114 in (2,900 mm) and a mass of 3,800 kg (8,400 lb).[8] It was equipped with 22 accelerometers, 2 microphones, 12 digital thermometers, 24 thermocouples and 12 strain gages.[8]

The secondary payloads were four CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS.[8] Three of them were PhoneSats, 1U CubeSats built by NASA's Ames Research Center.[8] These were named Alexander, Graham and Bell, after the Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.[8] The purpose of these three satellites was to demonstrate the use of smartphones as avionics in CubeSats.[8] They each had a mass of 1.124 kg (2.48 lb) and were powered by lithium batteries.[8] The fourth nanosat was a 3U CubeSat, called Dove-1, built by Cosmogia Inc. It carried a "technology development Earth imagery experiment" using the Earth's magnetic field for attitude control.[8][9]

Mission timeline

  • Lift off of the Antares rocket occurs two seconds after the first stage engines are ignited.
  • The first stage engines shut off 228 seconds after lift-off.
  • At 233 seconds, the first stage separates from the second.
  • At 317 seconds, the payload fairing is jettisoned.
  • At 326 seconds, the second stage's engine is ignited.
  • At 481 seconds, the second stage is shut off.
  • At 601 seconds, the Cygnus Mass Simulator separates.[4]
Attempt Planned Result Turnaround Reason Decision point Weather go (%) Notes
1 17 Apr 2013, 5:00:00 pm scrubbed technical 17 Apr 2013, 4:44 pm ​(T-12:00 hold) 60% [10] Premature disconnect of upper stage umbilical cable during T-12:00 hold [11]
2 20 Apr 2013, 6:10:00 pm scrubbed 3 days, 1 hour, 10 minutes weather 20 Apr 2013, 4:30 pm 90% [12]
3 21 Apr 2013, 5:00:02 pm success 0 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes 80% First flight of Antares [13]


See also


  1. ^ "Antares A-ONE Mission Coverage". Spaceflight101. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  2. ^ Clark, Stephen (20 April 2013). "Antares A-One Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  3. ^ Bergin, Chris (22 February 2012). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Antares A-ONE Test Launch Mission Overview" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Orbital Successfully Launches First Antares Rocket" (Press release). Orbital Sciences. 21 April 2013.
  6. ^ Lindsey, Clark (21 March 2013). "Spaceflight Services installs four nanosats on Antares rocket". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Space Act Agreement Amendment Seven between NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation for COTS" (PDF). NASA. March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Antares Test Launch "A-ONE Mission" Overview Briefing" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  9. ^ Mason, James; Safyan, Michael (1 January 2012). "Cosmogia Dove - 1 Orbital Debris Assessment Report". Cosmogia. FCC. Retrieved 12 January 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ Orbital Sciences (17 April 2013). "Still marching toward the first launch..." Twitter.
  11. ^ Orbital Sciences (17 April 2013). "The umbilical was a data cable connected..." Twitter.
  12. ^ Orbital Sciences (20 April 2013). "#Antares launch attempt scrubbed..." Twitter.
  13. ^ Harwood, William (21 April 2013). "Antares rocket climbs into space on maiden flight". CBS News.

External links

  • Antares Test Launch "A-ONE Mission" Overview Briefing
  • Mission Overview
  • NASA mission page
  • Video of Pre-Flight Press Conference - Part 1 - YouTube (NASATelevision)
  • Video of Pre-Flight Press Conference - Part 2 - YouTube (NASATelevision)
  • Video of Antares A-One rocket being rolled out to launch pad - YouTube (NASATelevision)
  • Video of the launch of the Antares A-One rocket - YouTube (NASATelevision)