Antares CRS Orb-1 Photo Feature: Rider on the Storms
This stunning image was captured at dusk as the launch vehicle was readied for launch the following day. SpaceFlight Insider's team and affiliates have gathered the following imagery from this historic mission. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn/SpaceFlight Insider
WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va — Orbital Sciences Corporation’s first launch of 2014, the Orb-1 mission and the first under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract took to the skies on Jan. 9 under cruelly-cold skies. The ice storms generated by the “polar vortex” had caused the temps to drop to almost single digits. It was a storm, or phenomenon of another sort however which has caused the launch of Antares to slip from Jan. 8 until the following day.
Space weather, in the form of abnormally high radiation had forced the postponement, but the weather had improved with the temperatures reaching the low 30s. Due to the delay, many photographers got to spend an extended period of time in and around the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceports (MARS) Pad-0A, As the sun set at the pad, the crisp conditions created iconic imagery which are sure to be shared for decades to come.
Orbital’s Antares rocket trails a colorful flame as it ascends into a icy clear blue sky. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn/SpaceFlight Insider
The Antares launch vehicle sits on the pad, the road sign pointing to the rocket’s future sits on the right of frame. Photo Credit: Ivan Meyerovich / SpaceFlight Insider
While frigid temperatures posed a challenge during this launch, the conditions made for beautiful photos of the Antares rocket.
Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
An arcing contrail forms as Antares climbs higher into the atmosphere. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
Components of the next Antares rocket slated for the Orb-2 mission inside the Horizontal Integration Facility. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
Antares is brilliantly illuminated on its launch pad. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
Antares finally lifts off at 1:07 p.m. EST on Jan. 9. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
One of the two Aerojet AJ-26 engines that will fly on the first sage of Antares for the Orb-2 mission. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
A member of the media gazes up at Antares as technicians prepare it for launch. Photo Credit: Ivan Meyerovich / SpaceFlight Insider
The core stage of the next Antares rocket, which will support the Orb-2 mission. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
Workers preparing Antares for launch give a sense of scale. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider
The Jan. 9 launch of Antares marks the start of a busy year for Orbital, with a possible total of three Antares launches slated for 2014. Photo Credit: Scott Johnson / SpaceFlight Insider
Welcome to The Spaceflight Group! Be sure to follow us on Facebook: The Spaceflight Group as well as on Twitter at: @SpaceflightGrp
SpaceFlight Insider is a space journal working to break the pattern of bias prevalent among other media outlets. Working off a budget acquired through sponsors and advertisers, SpaceFlight Insider has rapidly become one of the premier space news outlets currently in operation. SFI works almost exclusively with the assistance of volunteers.