back to article Phew: ISS re-supply mission launches without destroying Wallops launch-pad

It ran five minutes late, but NASA's ISS resupply launch atop an Orbital ATK Antares rocket has gone off without a hitch. Space-watchers were nervous about this one: it was the first Antares launch since October 2014, when US$200 million-plus worth of rocket exploded, destroying its payload and leaving NASA with more than $20 …

  1. Brian Miller

    Excellent future

    I'm so glad that there are more successful launches of private-enterprise rockets. At some point, the governmental bodies will only exist for regulatory purposes, much like the FAA. Yes, space is big enough that it needed a government push (and some competition between governments), and now companies are getting into the normal flow of space traffic.

    And what about El Reg's space project? You guys aren't giving up on that, are you? I'd love to see the playmonaut make it to space.

    1. cray74

      Re: Excellent future

      I'm so glad that there are more successful launches of private-enterprise rockets.

      Private enterprise launches have been the norm for decades. The space shuttle was built by the private companies and from 1996 to 2011 the shuttle fleet was operated by the private United Space Alliance. If NASA wanted a launch, it contracted USA. The private United Launch Alliance handled launches of Atlas and Delta rockets from 2006 to the present. Orbital ATK's parent Orbital Sciences was privately launching satellites via its Pegasus rocket from 1990 onward.

  2. asphytxtc
    Pint

    Wonderful

    Congratulations to all at Orbital ATK on a successful return to flight with Antares! Definitely a great start for the new 230 model. As Brian said, it's fantastic seeing the commercialisation of space begin, what a time to be alive :)

    Beers all round for the people that pulled this off!

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Stop

    Weight a minute

    "5,000 pounds of supplies"

    Isn't this supposed to be a science article?

    1. David Pollard
      Boffin

      Re: Weight a minute

      Yea, should have been reckoned in London Buses, Indian Elephants, nanoWaleses or something. It's difficult to keep up with science these days. Ah, there we go, the appropriate unit is a Jub.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: Weight a minute

      Just for a giggle, read the SpaceNews.com article (American) which gives the mass of supplies in kg :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so, whats happening to ISS crews after 2019?

    I read that the US have decided not to sign any contracts for Soyuz LV construction post 2017. The likely two year frame for the Soyuz craft build means that there won't be any/many launches in a few years time.

    Is this Soyuz situation, compared with Antares, a necessary 'win' for the dependability & reliability of the private enterprise space vehicle market? I hope so.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: so, whats happening to ISS crews after 2019?

      The US is hoping to have an alternative passenger vehicle from SpaceX and/or Boeing by then. They're both hoping to do unmanned tests next year, with their first proper launches to the ISS in 2018 or 19.

      Both of them are a bit behind schedule though.

  5. Grunchy

    5 minutes late

    Musk should get his lawers ready for breach of contract lawsuit.

    I would expect Nasa has substantial damages due to the delay...

    (imagine having to pay all of Nasa crew for 5 mins while Musk is wasting time in the bathroom, needlessly delaying the launch, of all the nerve)

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