WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. space company Orbital Sciences Corp. said Wednesday that an engine failure is the likely cause of last week's Antares rocket launch explosion that destroyed an unmanned Cygnus spacecraft loaded with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS).
"While the work of the AIB (Accident Investigation Board) continues, preliminary evidence and analysis conducted to date points to a probable turbopump-related failure in one of the two Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 stage one main engines [url=http://www.cheaprocketsshop.com/Hakeem-Olajuwon/]Cheap Hakeem Olajuwon Jersey[/url] ," the Virginia- based company said in a statement.
"As a result, the use of these engines for the Antares vehicle likely will be discontinued."
The Antares rocket exploded about 15 seconds after liftoff from U.S. space agency NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia on Oct. 28.
The mission is the third of eight Orbital flights NASA contracted with the company to resupply the ISS, and the fourth trip by Antares and Cygnus to the orbiting laboratory.
Orbital also announced "comprehensive plans" to fulfill its contract commitments to NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program [url=http://www.cheaprocketsshop.com/James-Harden/]Cheap James Harden Jersey[/url] , saying all remaining cargo will be delivered to the ISS by the end of 2016.
There will be no cost increase to NASA and only minor adjustments will be needed to the cargo manifest in the near term, it said.
To maintain the ISS supply line, Orbital said it will accelerate upgrading the Antares rocket to use a different engine in 2016 [url=http://www.cheaprocketsshop.com/]Cheap Houston Rockets Hats[/url] , which will be preceded by "one or two non-Antares launches" of the company's Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the ISS in 2015.
In addition, the company expected repairs to the launch complex at the Wallops Flight Facility "to be undertaken quickly," allowing launch operations to continue there with the upgraded Antares beginning in 2016.
"Orbital is taking decisive action to fulfill our commitments to NASA in support of safe and productive operations of the Space Station. While last week's Antares failure was very disappointing to all of us [url=http://www.cheaprocketsshop.com/]Cheap Houston Rockets Hoodies[/url] , the company is already implementing a contingency plan to overcome this setback," David Thompson, Orbital's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement.
"We intend to move forward safely but also expeditiously to put our CRS cargo program back on track and to accelerate the introduction of our upgraded Antares rocket."
Thompson said exact financial impacts to Orbital are not expected to be material in 2015.
"In all cases [url=http://www.cheaprocketsshop.com/]Cheap Houston Rockets Shirts[/url] , no significant adverse effects are projected in 2016 or future years, in part because the cost of the Antares propulsion system upgrade was already part of our internal investment plan during that time," he added.
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