Ukrainian rocket design firm Yuzhnoye delivered the first stage of the Taurus-2 launch vehicle to the United States, a step forward in the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation’s commercial cargo and re-supply of the International Space Station, the designing company said.
“The assembly of the basic part of the first stage of the booster was completed in October. The cargo left the port in Mykolaiv region for the Wallops Flight Facility,” a Yuzhnoye statement said. The hardware is expected in Delware and will be trucked by highway to the launch site in Virginia. Ukrainain rocket scientists and engineers are working now on Wallops Island.
Yuzhnoye and another Ukranian company, Yuzhmash, in 2008 signed a long-term contract with U.S. Orbital Sciences Corp. cooperating in producing Taurus-2 rockets until 2019. The first is expected to fly from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va. in the summer of 2011. [More from the Parabolic Arc blog.]