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Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS 69

An anonymous reader writes "Orbital Sciences Corp.'s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft delivered 3,000 pounds of equipment, fresh fruit, and Christmas presents from the families of all six ISS spacemen today. 'From the men and women involved in the design, integration and test, to those who launched the Antares (rocket) and operated the Cygnus, our whole team has performed at a very high level for our NASA customer, and I am very proud of their extraordinary efforts,' said David W. Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Orbital, in a written statement from the company."
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Orbital Becomes Second Private Firm To Send Cargo Craft To ISS

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  • Re:A field of Two (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Teancum ( 67324 ) <robert_horning@netzero. n e t> on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:39PM (#45934587) Homepage Journal

    EADS-Astrium/AirBus (they are going through a reorganization at the moment) is arguably a major contender for private commercial spaceflight launch as well. RKK Energia (the company who makes the Soyuz rockets) is also a private company who is competitive with the launch costs of both SpaceX and Orbital. You can debate if they really are a private companies or not (they do have shareholders and private investors... but also governments as investors as well).

    Richard Branson has said he has his sights upon orbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic, and there is also Stratolaunch, but those are the only other companies I can see being real competition. I had high hopes for ARCA [], the Romanian space group that is doing some interesting things, but their projects seem to take even longer to happen than I thought. I'm sort of pleasantly surprised they are still doing stuff. Another group to watch is Copenhagen Suborbitals [], who is building flying hardware (they have sent aloft more than a couple missions) and have technology that could at least theoretically make the trip into orbit over time.

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:42PM (#45934595) Homepage
    The other flight was officially a demo flight but brought up actual cargo, just as SpaceX's demo flight did. Needs more adjectives like "second private firm to send cargo to ISS under contract" or something like that. I still think their previous flight was more important.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN