The new Antares rocket with extended Second stage is here. This modification of an extended Second stage is to accomodate an enlarged version of the Castor 30 XL engine. The Castor 30 XL is making its first flight on Antares Orb-3 mission, a resupply cargo mission to the ISS this week.
Until now, the previous Cygnus flights used the Castor 30A engine (A-ONE and Orb-D1 mission) and Castor 30B on Orb-1 and Orb-2 missions.
Orb-3 mission will feature the current Cygnus cargo vessel for the last time, until starting with Orb-4, the Cygnus will fly as an enlarged version, thus carrying more cargo to the ISS.
Overview of all the sides
Side I (front side of the vehicle)
Side III (Umbilicals)
Here is a comparison of the previous Antares with the new Antares with Extended Second stage. Also, notice the enlargement of the Antares markings on the side of the rocket.
Here is the Cygnus cargo vessel attached to the new Castor 30XL engine.
This photo shows the size difference between the old and new Castor engines.
These photos belong to the AXM version paper model of the new Antares rocket in 1:100 scale, available only at my website:
The new Antares rocket suffered a catastrophic failure exploding 15 seconds after launch due to AJ26 main engine failure.