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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.[6] It was launched from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, USA.[5] The boilerplate payload simulates the mass of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.[5] This dummy payload was sent into an orbit of "approximately 150 by 160 miles" (240 km x 260 km) with an inclination of 51.6 degrees.[6]

Antares A-ONE
Antares 110 rocket for A-ONE mission.jpg
The assembled Antares A-One rocket inside the Horizontal Integration Facility at Wallops
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorOrbital Sciences
COSPAR ID2013-016D
SATCAT no.39145
Mission duration603 seconds[1]
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCygnus mass simulator
ManufacturerOrbital Sciences
Launch mass3,800 kg (8,400 lb)
Dimensions5.061 × 2.896 m (199.25 × 114 in)
Start of mission
Launch date21 April 2013, 21:00:02.2 (2013-04-21UTC21:00:02) UTC[2][3]
RocketAntares 110[4]
Launch siteMARS LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences
End of mission
Decay date10 May 2013 (2013-05-11) UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude241 km (150 mi)[5]
Apogee altitude260 km (162 mi)[5]
Epoch21 April 2013
Antares A-ONE mission emblem.png  

Four Spaceflight Inc. CubeSat nanosatellites were deployed from the dummy payload.[7]

This launch along with several other activities leading up to it, are paid milestones under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.[8]



The primary payload was the Cygnus Mass Simulator (CMS). It had a height of 199.25 inches (5,061 mm), a diameter of 114 inches (2,900 mm) and a mass of 8,400 pounds (3,800 kg).[9] It was equipped with 22 accelerometers, 2 microphones, 12 digital thermometers, 24 thermocouples and 12 strain gages.[9]

The secondary payloads were four CubeSats that were deployed from the CMS.[9] Three of them were PhoneSats, 1U CubeSats built by NASA's Ames Research Center.[9] These were named Alexander, Graham and Bell, after the inventor of the telephone.[9] The purpose of these three satellites was to demonstrate the use of smartphones as avionics in CubeSats.[9] They each had a mass of 2.48 lb (1.124 kg) and were powered by lithium batteries.[9] 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.[9][10]

Mission timelineEdit

  • 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 second stage separates from the first.
  • 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.[5]
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 hold) 60%[11] Premature disconnect of upper stage umbilical cable during T-12 hold[12]
2 20 Apr 2013, 6:10:00 pm scrubbed 3 days, 1 hour, 10 minutes weather 20 Apr 2013, 4:30 pm 90% [13]
3 21 Apr 2013, 5:00:02 pm success 0 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes 80% First flight of Antares[14]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ NASA/OSC Pre-launch press conference
  2. ^ "Antares A-ONE Mission Coverage". Spaceflight 101. 21 April 2013. 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". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Antares A-ONE Test Launch Mission Overview" (PDF). Orbital Sciences. 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Orbital Successfully Launches First Antares Rocket" (Press release). Orbital Sciences. 21 April 2013.
  7. ^ Lindsey, Clark (21 March 2013). "Spaceflight Services installs four nanosats on Antares rocket". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Space Act Agreement Amendment Seven between NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation for COTS" (PDF). NASA. March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Mason, James; Safyan, Michael (1 January 2012). "Cosmogia Dove - 1 Orbital Debris Assessment Report". Cosmogia. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  11. ^ Orbital Sciences (17 April 2013). "Still marching toward the first launch..." Twitter.
  12. ^ Orbital Sciences (17 April 2013). "The umbilical was a data cable connected..." Twitter.
  13. ^ Orbital Sciences (20 April 2013), "#Antares launch attempt scrubbed...", Twitter
  14. ^ Harwood, William (21 April 2013). "Antares rocket climbs into space on maiden flight". CBS News.

External linksEdit