Ukraine’s Zelensky hails successful launch of Ukrainian-US Antares rocket

21 February, 11:34 PM
Antares launch vehicle (Photo:NASA/youtube)

Antares launch vehicle (Photo:NASA/youtube)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tweet on Feb 19 congratulated the team behind the launch of the new Ukrainian-U.S. Antares rocket.

Antares, a joint project between Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye Design Office and the U.S. aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman, is a medium-class rocket, the heaviest currently operated by the U.S. company. It is intended to ferry supplies to the International Space Station.

The rocket, which launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, carries aboard the automated cargo transport vehicle Cygnus, with a payload of 3,729 kilograms of supplies for the ISS.

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“Congratulations on the successful launch of #Antares rocket at the WFF. The rocket launched the Cygnus spacecraft, which will replenish the #ISS and help restore its orbit,” President Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

The State Space Agency of Ukraine says the Antares launch vehicle has two stages. The first stage was designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Office and manufactured by Ukrainian state-owned industrial manufacturer Pivdenmash, in cooperation with Ukrainian enterprises such as Hartron-Arkos (Kharkiv), Kyivprylad (Kyiv), Hartron-YUKOM (Zaporizhzhia), Chezara Telemetria LLC, Rapid (Chernihiv) and others, at the request of Northrop Grumman.

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