The Antares Rocket – NASA’s Less Famous Ride To The Space Station

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The Antares rocket is not the best known rocket, except when it exploded, then everyone noticed. The Antares grew out of the same commercial orbital services program that launched the Falcon 9. The design used a Ukrainian built first stage with Russian engines, and a solid upper stage to launch the Cygnus cargo vehicle. The Engines themselves have a story worth telling.
This collection of existing technologies meant it was built quickly and is considered a low cost option compared to Atlas.

Background music by DJ Rkod

  1. nperrygo

    I love being able to watch these launches. I’m in Hollywood………. Maryland, and have been able to see each fly from my front door. We are about 40 miles (65km) south east of DC, between the Potomac river and Chesapeake Bay. Love your videos and am so glad you were able to put out a video on MARS and the Antares.

  2. Lachlan Bird

    Retired aerospace machinist :
    I had the unique experience of machining many component and structural parts for these programs ; Cygnus , Anteres , Atlas 5 , GPS 2 , GPS 3 , MSL ( Mars Science Laboratory ), and many more …during my employment with

  3. pauldzim

    So Russian rocket engines from 1972 were put into storage, then 40 years later they were dusted off and used to send rockets to the space station. Wow.

  4. Aaron G.

    I live in the Hampton roads area and so all of the live launches I have seen have been of this rocket. I was there when it exploded too, it was crazy looking, the whole sky was red and black with smoke. Can’t wait for electron launches as well!

  5. Полор Єлеон

    What about ukrainian rockets after all? Zenith have an interesting history of developement and a whole tiny rocket family of Dnepro, Svityaz and Cyclon. There also was an interesting russian-ukrainian MAKS project (cancelled) and purely ukrainian Sura spaceplane (de-facto cancelled). I mean SSAU (ukrainian state space agency) briefly mentioned everywhere from time to time but never get the credits.

  6. Meepbob

    Can’t wait till they start launching from Wallops again! I miss watching rockets launch from my back yard :(

  7. Virginia Frank

    These videos are very interesting, but would be much better without the background music.

  8. Olueni onLoppu

    hi scott and everyone,
    i have an engine related question. its said that the falcon rockets do a suicide burn, because one merlin engine has, even when throttled to the minimum, too much thrust to let the rocket hover.
    Now, i assume throttling down is done by adjusting the turbo-pumps, but what defines the minimum thrust. Is it the pump itself or would the gasflow in the nozzle get disturbed, or something completely different? How does the thrust correspond to efficiency, maybe with a view on different chamber pressures…if there is a relation.
    Thanks folks!

  9. John Henry

    Ive been at its last 2 launches

  10. 1_2_Die

    All hail to competition and diversity, still I would love to see more companies operating reusable systems and lower the amount of wasted material (and work & money).

  11. Mike Lastname

    The first space launch I witnessed was an Antares. It launched out of Wallops Island, flew for 6 seconds, fell onto the launch pad, and, for a moment, became brighter than the setting sun. We didn’t go to space that day. (Thankfully, nobody was hurt.)
    Yeah, that nighttime launch you saw? It was broad darn daylight!

  12. Mojo waters

    Cosmodrome is a GREAT documentary on Netflix, I urge everyone to watch it.

  13. Jakob Feitzinger

    6:08 *Ukrainian

  14. Vasiliy Kryuchkov

    some say that Nk-33 were not stored in warehouse but buried underground after the order to destroy them was issued….

  15. Jeff Vader

    The fairing looks like it was made in KSP.

  16. Ben Schofield

    Damn I wanted to see that recovered satellite from Planet Labs

  17. SammyJ

    I work at VA Space (the people who build the lauch pads at Wallops and handle support services) and this is very cool to see! Great video!

  18. aAaa aAaa

    Let’s not forget…Orbital ATK is just a rebranded Thiokol, the company that helped murder the Challenger astronauts…lest we forget who they really are.

  19. WestOfEarth

    Wallops – I believe that’s also the headquarters of NASA’s fascinating but little-known scientific ballooning missions. I didn’t know they had rocket launch capabilities.

  20. twistedyogert

    Actually had the great experience of seeing one being built. Sadly it was the same one that exploded later.

  21. ̷ ̴ ̸ɢ̸ʟ̶ɪ̸ᴛ̶ᴄ̶ʜ̷ ̶ ̶

    I saw a Ariane 5 rocket booster orbiting the earth saturday. (“Ariane 5 R/B”) It was visible with the eye. I thought they are too small or non-reflective to be seen. Must have been a very special constellation.
    I checked it with a smartphone app. There is no mistake.

  22. David Poole, Jr

    Yep I used to go watch these launches. Then the one blew up which was scary

  23. Ambonec

    Kudos for bringing attention to less-known (but producing) companies

  24. Norm T

    “FOOL” Power aka to the rest of the English speaking world its “full”… lmao … I know Scott”ie” wants to say it “Captain I can’t give her any more, she is going to blow…

  25. Karl Brundage

    I always enjoy watching the launches from Wallops Flight Facility. On a clear day or night you can see the rocket climbout from more than 100 miles away.

  26. Velocityraptor

    (btw the background music is nice: very chilly)

  27. Factorio

    this is my favorite rocket, the first one i saw launch irl.

  28. Bryan Myers

    That’s an interesting translation burn it does with the main engines to gain some more clearance from its launch tower.

  29. Redshift

    Thanks scott, i live in new jersey and im 4 hrs from wallops.

  30. T-65B X-Wing Fighter

    It just hit me that the Saturn IB could probably make it to ISS.

  31. Simply Space

    Awesome video Scott, I love your hardware profile / history videos.

  32. Richard Robinson

    All these rockets are very good but nothing compares to that wonderful Saturn V. They were such magnificent beasts.

  33. Adam Phelps

    I do a lot of work on Antares it’s my favorite!

  34. tomcan48

    *Thanks for the balanced report that there is more than just those other retrievable vehicles.*

  35. The crap adventures of Che Simons

    YouTube subtitles “Although it’s got Manley here”

  36. John S

    Cubesats based on Android phones! I love it!

  37. Noah W

    lol I remember watching the Antares Explosion live, I was like in 10 at the time

  38. YZFoFittie


  39. Stigmati

    The Engines that Came in From the Cold documentary is available on Amazon with Prime

  40. Moritz von Schweinitz

    Well, now that Orbital ATK has been gobbled up by Northrop Grumman, one could argue that they are not ‘really’ private anymore, since NG is heavily encrusted into the Military/Industrial complex.

  41. PsychoDad89

    “the original deke slayton had been destroyed” poor old donald

  42. Grant Karpakis

    your videos are really cool! thankyou!

  43. Steve Molloy

    Russian engines?
    I’m calling msnbc!

  44. Brandon Waldo

    You should make a video on the Kodiak Island spaceport.

  45. Nuno Pereira

    Scott, are you sure that the Cygnus capsule has a bigger internal volume than Japan’s HTV ? Also, isn’t the pressurized part of Cygnus actually built by the same European company that builds the Vega/Vega C rocket ?

  46. Blazed Gaming KR

    2:07 every Kerbal player gasps “I can read that”

  47. Miah Elf

    Sounds like Scott is saying Sickness as the name of the rocket haha

  48. Keegan Penney

    I like how these companies somehow made it somewhat into kerbal. Thanks for the teaching Scott, your a great example of teaching interesting information threw globalized means.

  49. GreyScissors

    I live near Wallops flight facility which is where they launch many of these. It was great to have an in depth video of what I see as my local rocket.

  50. Strategic Thinker

    The best thing about this rocket is it’s name.

  51. biobinladen

    I love the Cosmodrome documentary. Definitely one of the best on Netflix. So i look forward to seeing how this pans out.

  52. Kenny G

    Yay! More rockets. Thanks Scott Manley!

  53. Mac Tek

    Spacex exploded…. twice. A third if you count dragon 2.

  54. Gage

    Totally fascinating and informative video. Very slick and professionally done.

  55. Mati Sauks

    you may want to have a series on software used in satellites and rockets e.g. i worked on OSX the orbital sciences executive RTOS

  56. Doctor Bonez

    I knew they have been upgrading the engines and soon the structure but now I know why! Thank you very well done as always.

  57. glenn goodale

    Your video has brightened this wacky week of mine. Thank you!

  58. S Userman

    So the first stage’s AJ26 engines have a specific impulse of 297s at sea level and 331s in vacuum, but the second stage Castor 30B has 301s.
    How many other rockets have more isp in their booster stage than in the upper stage? Should be rare, right?

  59. OK37965

    “What do you mean rockets are not legos?”

  60. Mike T

    Scott, I love your videos. Short and to the point. Some guys go on and on for 30 minutes or more and actually provide less info than you do in 10 minutes.

  61. Ray Ceeya

    LOL, I’m just picturing a action hero that absolutely has to get to the space station “Right the Hell Now”.
    “Soooo, how do you fly this thing?”
    “You don’t, you just strap in and hope like hell the Russians did their job, and then you hope like hell the Boys at Grumman did their jobs, then you hope like hell a bunch of stoners in California did their job.
    “Look at it this way, Harrison, if you don’t make it, there won’t be an Earth to come back to tomorrow anyway.”

  62. jonkersvideos

    Is that music in the background?? :-( thumb down for that!

  63. Alex Hardesty

    I absolutely love that you still say fly safe…. good old Eve

  64. Lewis Massie

    If the Antares is the forgotten launcher of the CRS missions, then Kounotori is the forgotten spacecraft of the CRS missions

  65. doggonemess

    3:50 “Mass Simulator” NASA speak for big heavy thing.

  66. Scott Wagner

    Any chance we could get a video about pros/cons of a two engine vs. one engine two chamber design?

  67. Network XIII

    Hi Scott, looking forward to your analysis of the “For All Mankind” trailer. Love your videos!

  68. Mediumdave1983

    I prefer this outro music :) Great video, nice to hear about some of the lesser known rockets, even though I’m very excited about BFR and New Glenn :)

  69. Kalko von Schpritzendorf

    Great video, thanks for letting us know about this rocket.

  70. John Norris

    When should we expect Scott’s “Fly Safe” Rocket company?

  71. Lee Nux

    Thanks for the metric !

  72. Matt Horkan


  73. Steve Driscoll

    Scott, I am learning a lot from you and am enjoying it immensely. Thanks for these videos.

  74. Monkeyb00y

    It’s funny because I remember this explosion but like you said, I didn’t know the name of it. I remember the rocket stopping and falling down into the fireball for the epic fireball finale.

  75. David Parry

    _Elon often pops round to the Antares company to borrow a cup of struts if he’s running short… but being Ukrainian, they don’t understand him and give him Vegemite instead!_

  76. Prone One aka the shaker of cans

    I’m Man scotley sly face

  77. lietkynes81

    I really recommend watching the “The Engines That Came In From The Cold” documentary about the N1 rocket NK-33 engine.
    If you are rocket enthusiasts, you will like it :)

  78. Montgomery Burns

    Hey Scott! When I lived in southern NJ, as a kid, I saw a launch from Wallops. That was about 100 miles from my vantage point, but clearly visible with binoculars. The rocket delivered some green luminescent dye into mesosphere for some kind of experiment. More importantly, I’m not getting on any rocket or star ship unless you’ve checked it over first, Scott! Thanks for these fascinating videos.

  79. // REDACT3D

    crazy was just watching your video about lighting engines while playing KSP. Keep doing what you do bud!

  80. nzfamily / Archie

    Thanks for this video, you not only introduced me to a forgotten rocket but also introduced me to DJ Rkod, enjoying the background music, nz family signing off!

  81. Zac M.

    I got a five minute (skippable) ad before this video
    It’s the only ad of that length I have willingly watched
    It was a bit from Chris Hadfield’s Masterclass
    Pretty well targeted being on a video from you and all!

  82. HylanderSB

    Mid-Atllantic Spaceport represent! This is where Rocket Lab LC-2 will be.

  83. stefan lombard

    Can you please make a video about the Zenit rocket

  84. diGritz1

    Launch Coordinator: Don’t worry just press the button, what could go wrong. Yes there’s 100’s of millions of dollars invested in it but everything will be fine.
    Launcher: Then why don’t you push it?
    Launch Coordinator: Ummm sorry I have carpal tunnel, doctors orders.

  85. Wozihe

    Actually the ATV was the biggest cargo spacecraft to ever service the ISS with an internal volume of 48 cubic meters while the Cygnus only has 27.

  86. Gate Andara

    When I lived outside of DC I used to watch the Antares launches from my street. Could see them about a minute after liftoff, watch stage separation, all nice and clear. I remember waiting to see the one that exploded.. finally realized something had happened and checked the live feed. Then I knew I wouldn’t be seeing another launch for a long time.

  87. Matthew

    I like the way it just drifts from the pad.

  88. Gregorius Valentin

    Cool, this is a perfect summary of the Antares. Learned a lot.

  89. Abe Barrera

    Hey Scott knew alot about antares but why does it seem on liftoff that the rocket is slewing towards what I assume is the right of the pad depending on the view thanks!

  90. ziggelito

    @scott manley
    Hey, can you make a video on the new ksp dlc?

  91. Kenny Bell

    How about a history of the castor engines. Has the series really been in use since the 50’s?

  92. Gage Hall

    You have been the one that started my love for space exploration, thank you Scott

  93. Hans Rama

    “Engines are too powerful”… not something your hear often in space exploration

  94. Josh Barney

    Oh ah, ah, ah, ah
    Come on get down with the Cygnus

  95. bruchpilot747

    The crashed Antares was actually the first rocket launch I’ve watched live via web stream. Oh boy was I in for a treat.
    Ground Control: “Engine is at 108%”
    Rocket: _boom_
    I was laughing quite hard :’D

  96. Aaron Ray

    If your turbopump can’t handle the load, you will not go to space today.

  97. Elopeous

    I never noticed how much the antares gimballed away from the tower after right after release until after seeing that footage near the end.
    Huh I wonder why

  98. John Vance

    Ah, the Honda Civic of orbital rockets.

  99. Aljon

    How to get popular : *Explode a rocket.*

  100. Gitarzan 66

    I’ve grown very fond of your videos Scott. I’m going blind from glaucoma and I lost the ability to read books a few years ago. Thanks to your videos I can continue to learn new things. I just wanted to let you know how important your videos are to some of us. Thank you.

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