Aerospace and defense technologies provider Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA) has been selected by NASA for a second contract to provide commercial cargo delivery and disposal services to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the company said.
Under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract, the company was awarded six initial cargo missions, valued at about USD 1.2-USD 1.5 billion, to be carried out beginning in 2019.
Depending on the spacecraft/launch vehicle configurations used, these initial missions will deliver approximately 22,500-26,500 kilograms (or 49,000-58,000 pounds) of supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory.
Later in the contract, NASA may award additional missions for the 2021-2024 period based on operational requirements of the ISS.
For the upcoming CRS-2 missions, Orbital ATK´s Cygnusâ¢ spacecraft can be carried into orbit by either the company´s upgraded Antaresâ¢ launch vehicle or United Launch Alliance´s Atlas V rocket. This option enables NASA to better tailor future missions to meet specific ISS operational requirements, as well as demonstrating the flexibility of the Cygnus spacecraft for cargo supply to the ISS.
For all upcoming missions under the CRS-1 and CRS-2 contracts, Orbital ATK will use the enhanced Cygnus design. In addition to its larger pressurized cargo module that allows increased cargo capacity, the enhanced Cygnus incorporates high-performance UltraFlexâ¢ solar arrays designed and manufactured by the company´s Space Components Division in Goleta, California.
CRS-2 missions to be launched aboard the company´s upgraded Antares rocket will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) located at NASA´s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. With support from NASA and Orbital ATK, MARS has completed repairs and upgrades to the Pad 0A launch complex for compatibility with the new Antares configuration. The upgraded Antares will be powered by dual RD-181 main stage engines and a modified first stage core structure that provide increased lift capacity to enable greater payloads as compared to the original Antares design.
Orbital ATK designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 12,000 people in 18 states across the US and in several international locations.