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Northrop and Firefly to collaborate on new version of Antares
Posted: Sun, Aug 14, 2022, 12:26 PM ET (1626 GMT)
Northrop Grumman and Firefly Aerospace announced Monday they will work together on an upgraded version of the Antares rocket. The Antares 330 will feature a new first stage built by Firefly, using engines and composite structures it is developing, along with the existing Northrop upper stage. The Antares currently uses a first stage built in Ukraine with a Russian engine, and the availability of both was in doubt after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. The Antares 330 will be ready for a first launch as soon as 2024 and, to cover the gap between the two versions, Northrop is buying three Falcon 9 launches from SpaceX for Cygnus spacecraft delivering cargo to the ISS. The companies also said they would collaborate on a new medium-class launch vehicle but disclosed few details about those plans other than a first launch in 2025.
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