Cygnus grabs March Atlas 5 launch slot


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The competition heats up: Taking advantage of delays in prepping a NOAA weather satellite, Orbital ATK has grabbed a March launch slot on the Atlas 5 for its Cygnus capsule.

Originally Orbital was going to launch on an Atlas 5 in December and then late in 2016 (based on Atlas 5 launch manifest availability), with the Antares launching a Cygnus in-between. By taking this March Atlas 5 launch, they can push the Antares return-to-flight launch back, thus giving themselves more time to install and test its new Russian first stage engines.

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