Antares rocket launch from NASA Wallops rescheduled for Friday, at earliest

  • The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen on a launchpad at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday. Orbital Sciences is scheduled to launch Antares on Wednesday.
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen on… (NASA/Bill Ingalls )
April 18, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

A commercial rocket launch that was scheduled for Wednesday but aborted has been pushed to Friday, at the earliest.

The next attempt is "tentatively" set for Friday, assuming that issues forcing the delay are resolved, according to Orbital Sciences Corp., the Virginia company behind the launch. NASA hired Orbital Sciences to ferry supplies to the International Space Station via an unmanned spacecraft.

The launch was scrubbed because of "a premature separation of a launch pad umbilical connection to the Antares upper stage used for data communications," the company said.

Once it does go off, the launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Delmarva peninsula in Virginia will be visible across Maryland and much of the East Coast.

The Antares rocket launch is the first in a series of tests, called mission A-ONE. The company plans to launch an Antares rocket in the middle of this year carrying a spacecraft that will go on to dock with the International Space Station, under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation System program.

The two missions "represent the culmination of Orbital's largest product development in the 30-year history of the company," according to Orbital Sciences' website.

Follow NASA Wallops on Facebook and on Twitter for launch updates.

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