Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket returned to flight with a new look following a two year long reconfiguration to incorporate RD-181 first stage engines. The launch took place on October 17th from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia.
This was the sixth flight of the Antares using VACCO supplied Check Valves, High and Low Pressure Latch Valves, Service Valves and Filters.
Antares was developed to launch Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station, part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The Antares rocket first flew in April 2013 carrying a mass simulator designed to mimic a Cygnus vehicle along with four CubeSats.
“Today after nearly four years of non-use we opened latch valves and fired a pyrovalve to repressurize the propellant tanks on the Juno spacecraft. Everything went well as we had hoped.”
The events as told to VACCO by Lockheed Martin were as follows; Lockheed first opened the two VACCO high pressure latch valves which brought GHe back on line to pressurize the fuel tanks. The latch valves opened fine and the VACCO check valves showed proper crack and reseat. Then, they fired a pyrovalve and repressurized the OX tank (the same good check valve performance was repeated). After a 4 hour period the two high pressure latch valves were closed. The spacecraft was then pressurized for Juno’s Orbit Insertion phase or JOI and the valves were reopened Sunday afternoon (33 hours before JOI) for the orbit burn which we later learned to be as successful.
VACCO Industries congratulates Lockheed Martin on their successful mission, and we are proud to be aboard the Juno spacecraft.
MAVEN spacecraft arrived at Mars! The satellite seamlessly entered the Martian orbit Sunday, September 21 to begin its one-year mission. Built by Lockheed Martin, NASA launched MAVEN toward the red planet on November 18, 2013. VACCO proudly has the following hardware in its Propulsion System:
The primary mission of this satellite is to study Mars’ upper atmosphere. Coupling its data with Curiosity’s ground testing statistics will provide scientists with a full picture of Mars’ atmosphere.
On May 6, 2014, VACCO Industries hosted a celebration at its South El Monte facility to commemorate 60 years of success. Read more about VACCO and the special event here:
United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday, February 20, 2014, carrying Boeing’s GPS IIF-5 satellite. It is the fifth of twelve in the Block IIF satellites, which are all intended to replace older satellites in the Global Positioning System (GPS). Each satellite has a service life of approximately twelve years.
VACCO Industries supplied ten Metal Mesh Filters to the Delta IV rocket, and also supplied the following hardware to the GPS IIF-5 satellite:
For more details about the Delta IV rocket launch and the GPS IIF-5 satellite, click here.
On January 23, 2014 at 9:33 p.m. EST, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket blasted NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) to Earth orbit. Built by Boeing Space Systems, the TDRS-L satellite’s mission is to provide high-data-rate communications between earth ground stations, the International Space Station (ISS) and Hubble Space Telescope.
VACCO Industries supplied 11 Metal Mesh Filters to the ULA Atlas V Launch Vehicle, which illuminated clear Florida skies for hundreds of miles during its nighttime lift off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
VACCO also supplied 50 Latch Valves, Etched Disc Filters, Check Valves, and Fill & Drain valves to Boeing to build the TDRS-L Satellite for NASA. The huge satellite is now safely in orbit.
On January 20, 2014, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-chaser spacecraft tweeted “Hello, world!” in several languages. The preprogrammed message notified scientists at ESA mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany, that Rosetta is awake after a 2 ½ year sleep induced to save energy.
With recharged energy systems, the spacecraft will continue its mission of studying comets in detail. Rosetta, which has VACCO Etched Disc Filters aboard, will rendezvous with the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet in August.
Cygnus spacecraft arrived without issue at International Space Station (ISS) Sunday, January 12, 2014 after Orbital’s Antares rocket successfully launched the unmanned capsule into space Thursday, January 9, 2014.
Astronauts aboard the Station used its robotic arm to capture and attach Cygnus to ISS. The 38 crew members were slated to begin unloading 2,780 pounds of supplies after the hatch opening, which was scheduled for Monday morning. Supplies included vital science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts, and other hardware.
VACCO is proud to have the following hardware components on board Cygnus:
On Thursday, January 9, 2014, Orbital’s Antares rocket successfully launched the unmanned Cygnus capsule toward International Space Station (ISS) beginning its first Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission.
Cygnus will deliver about 2,780 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 38 astronauts and remain attached to the station until February 18th before departing with approximately 2,800 pounds of disposable cargo for a safe, destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean. This CRS Orb1-mission follows the successful demonstration flight, Orb-D1, which was launched September 18, 2013, and ended October 22, 2013.
VACCO is proud to have several hardware components on board Cygnus:
In the spirit of team work and continuous improvement, VACCO Industries is pleased to announce the release of our new Quality Clauses. Through extensive collaboration with our Purchasing and Quality departments, we simplified and condensed VACCO requirements so that our suppliers can easily understand what is expected of them.
Our Purchase Order Quality Clauses and Terms & Conditions clearly define our overall company requirements for companies supplying materials and services to VACCO Industries.
How will this change impact you?
VACCO Industries values the cooperation we receive from our suppliers and contractors, and seeks to promote mutually beneficial relationships.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.