Rocket launch planned for Wallops Island on April 17th

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The Antares rocket in vertical position, following roll-out maneuvers on April 6 at Wallops.(NASA/Brea Reeves)

The Antares rocket in vertical position, following roll-out maneuvers on April 6 at Wallops.(NASA/Brea Reeves)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. – Orbital Sciences Corp. plans a test launch of its new Antares rocket at Wallops Island in 10 days.

Orbital completed roll-out of the first fully-integrated Antares rocket to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Saturday.

Orbital has confirmed an April 17 target launch date for the rocket test flight with a planned liftoff of 5 p.m. EDT.

Orbital is testing the Antares rocket under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program,

Orbital is building and testing its new rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which aims to develop safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit.

A demonstration flight of Antares and Cygnus to the space station is planned for later this year.

Following the successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission to the station, Orbital will begin conducting eight planed cargo resupply flights to the orbiting laboratory through NASA’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company.

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