Northrop Grumman Antares rocket page.


Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
Cost: $85 million
Stages: 2 (with an optional third)
Height (230 variant): 42.5 m (139 ft)
Diameter: 3.9 m (13 ft)
Mass (230 variant): 298,000 kgs (657,000 lbs)
Payload capacity (to LEO): 6,500 kg
Maiden flight: April 21, 2013


100 series: retired
200 series: active
230+ series: in development

Stage 1 (100 series)

Length: 27.9 m
Engine: 2x AJ26-6
Fuel: RP-1/LOX
Thrust: 3,265 kN (734,000 lbf)
Burn Time: 235 seconds

Stage 1 (200 series)

Length: 27.9 m
Engine: 2x RD-181
Fuel: RP-1/LOX
Thrust: 3,844 kN (864,000 lbf)
Burn Time: 215 seconds

Stage 2 (Castor 30A)

Length: 3.51 m
Diameter: 2.34 m
Engine: Castor 30A
Fuel: TP-H8299/aluminium
Thrust: 259 kN (58,200 lbf)
Burn Time: 136 seconds

Stage 2 (Castor 30B)

Length: 4.17 m
Diameter: 2.34 m
Engine: Castor 30B
Fuel: TP-H8299/aluminium
Thrust: 293.4 kN (65,960 lbf)
Burn Time: 127 seconds

Stage 2 (Castor 30XL)

Length: 5.99 m
Diameter: 2.36 m
Engine: Castor 30XL
Fuel: TP-H8299/aluminium
Thrust: 474 kN (107,000 lbf)
Burn Time: 156 seconds

Stage 3 – Star-48BV (Optional)

Length: 1.24 m
Diameter: 2.08 m
Engine: Solid-fueled
Fuel: TP-H-3340
Thrust: 68 kN (15,287 lbf)
Burn Time: 84.1 seconds

Stage 3 – BTS (Optional)

Length: unknown
Diameter: unknown
Engine: 3 x BT-4
Fuel: N2O4 / Hydrazine
Thrust: 1,350 N (303 lbf)
Burn Time: unknown

The Antares launch vehicle was developed by Orbital ATK to fulfil NASA’s requirements for the agency’s Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) programme. The rocket was first launched in 2013 and successfully flew four missions before exploding on the pad during its fifth in late 2014. The Antares was then completely redesigned and returned to service in October 2016.

The first 5 launches of the Antares launch vehicle utilised the 100-series variant. Following the launch failure in 2014, the 100-series was retired and the redesigned 200-series became the preferred Antares variant. Orbital ATK is currently working on a new more efficient variant, the 300-series. The launch provider has yet to announce when the Antares 300-series will begin its service.

Today, the Antares is manufactured and operated by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems following the defence giant purchase Orbital ATK in 2017.