- Hotfire Test of US Antares Rocket Slated for Tuesday
- The U.S. will conquer deep space with Russian engines
MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti) – The new medium-sized rocket intended for missions to the International Space Station successfully completed the final ground test on Friday evening, its developer said.
Preliminary analysis of data from the 29-second hotfire test of the Antares launch vehicle indicate that its engines and fueling systems are fully operational, Orbital Sciences Corporation said.
The result paves the way for the inaugural flight of the rocket, which is expected to take place in early May, the Virginia-based company said on its website.
The hotfire test was initially slated for February 14, but aborted 1.5 seconds before start due to nitrogen purge issues.
The Antares, initially known as Taurus II, is an expendable launch vehicle with a maximum payload of 5,000 kilograms. It is expected to deliver Cygnus unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station for NASA, which has no low Earth orbital spacecraft after the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.