Designed to provide responsive, low-cost, and reliable access to space,
Antares is a two-stage vehicle (with optional third stage) that provides low-Earth orbit (LEO) launch capability for payloads weighing over 5,000 kg. Internally funded by Orbital, Antares
is currently under development with a total of 8 missions planned between 2013 and 2016. Martinez & Turek, Inc. and ATA Engineering were selected by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority and Orbital Sciences Corporation to design, engineer, manufacture, install and test the highly optimized and critical Transporter / Erector / Launcher (TEL) system. The TEL provides multiple operational functions for the Antares program. The three primary operations the TEL performs are as follows:
- Serves as an assembly and integration platform for the Antares Rocket.
- Once the Rocket is assembled the TEL is placed on heavy load Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) allowing the TEL to serve as the transport vehicle for the Rocket from the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) to the Launch Site.
- Upon arrival at the Launch Site the TEL is attached to the hydraulic erection system present at the Launch Site where the TEL now becomes the platform used to erect the Antares Rocket, place it on the Launch Mount, secure the Rocket in position until fueled, and finally disconnect and pull away when the Rocket is launched.
The TEL represents our teams most recent success. We completed our system level tests and proof-loading in November 2011.