Antares A-ONE
The Antares 110 lifts off at the start of the mission
NamesSimulated Cygnus Payload [1]
Mission typeTest flight
OperatorOrbital Sciences Corporation
COSPAR ID2013-016D
SATCAT no.39145
Mission duration19 days
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCygnus mass simulator
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences Corporation
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, 21:00:00 UTC[2][3]
RocketAntares 110[4]
Launch siteWallops Pad 0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences Corporation
End of mission
Decay date10 May 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[5]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude240 km (150 mi)
Apogee altitude260 km (160 mi)

Orbital Sciences insignia  

Antares A-ONE mission was the maiden flight of Orbital Sciences Corporation' Antares launch vehicle including the ascent to space and accurate delivery of a simulated payload, the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS), which was launched 21 April 2013.[5] It was launched from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.[5] The simulated payload simulates the mass of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.[5] This dummy payload was sent into an orbit of 240 km × 260 km (150 mi × 160 mi) with an orbital inclination of 51.6°, the same launch profile it will use for Orbital's upcoming cargo supply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.[5]

This launch along with several other activities leading up to it, are paid milestones under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.[6]

Primary payload

The primary payload was the Cygnus Mass Simulator. It had a height of 5.061 m (16.60 ft), a diameter of 2.896 m (9 ft 6.0 in) and a mass of 3,800 kg (8,400 lb).[7] It was equipped with 22 accelerometers, 2 microphones, 12 digital thermometers, 24 thermocouples and 12 strain gages.[7]

Secondary payloads

Four Spaceflight Industries Inc. CubeSat nanosatellites were deployed from the dummy payload.[8]

The secondary payloads were four CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS.[7] Three of them were PhoneSats, 1U CubeSats built by NASA's Ames Research Center.[7] These were named Alexander, Graham and Bell, after the Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.[7] The purpose of these three satellites was to demonstrate the use of smartphones as avionics in CubeSats.[7] They each had a mass of 1,124 kg (2,478 lb) and were powered by lithium batteries.[7] 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.[7][9]

Mission timeline

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, 5:00:00 pm success 0 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes 80% First flight of Antares [13]


See also


  1. ^ "Display: Simulated Cygnus Payload 2013-016D". NASA. 27 April 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Antares A-ONE Mission Coverage". Spaceflight101. 21 April 2013. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (20 April 2013). "Antares A-One Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. ^ Bergin, Chris (22 February 2012). "Space industry giants Orbital upbeat ahead of Antares debut". Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Orbital Sciences successfully launches first Antares rocket". Northrop Grumman. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Space Act Agreement Amendment Seven between NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation for COTS" (PDF). NASA. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Lindsey, Clark (21 March 2013). "Spaceflight Services installs four nanosats on Antares rocket". NewSpace Watch. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Cosmogia Dove-1 Orbital Debris Assessment Report". FCC. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2021. Public Domain 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.