Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced that a premature separation of a launch pad umbilical connection to the Antares upper stage used for data communications halted today's countdown of the Antares test launch at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. Engineers are currently analyzing what occurred to determine what measures will be taken to resolve the issue
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On Saturday, Orbital conducted the wet dress rehearsal for the Antares rocket in preparation its Test Flight scheduled for later this week on April 17.
Depending on where you are along the eastern seaboard of the U.S., you might be able to see the flight of the Antares rocket. The downloadable map below shows the projected degrees above the horizon (how high to look) and the path the rocket will fly so that you might be able to glimpse the Antares test flight.
The Antares rocket is being hoisted inside the assembly building at Wallops Island onto its transporter in preparation for its roll out to the launch pad on Saturday morning. Larger image.
NASA commercial partner Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va., successfully conducted an engine test of its Antares rocket Friday at the nation's newest launch pad.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility will provide launch range support for an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket engine test scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A.
Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority ("VCSFA") and Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation ("Orbital") have reached a new agreement to govern their working relationship and allocation of assets at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport ("MARS").
Switching out a spacecraft maintenance facility is definitely not an easy task. Besides the obvious requirements to contain toxic fuels and provide enough power, there is also the work of deciding what previous structures will be useful to new contractors.
The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket stands in launch position during pathfinder operations at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Orbital's Antares launch vehicle will be conducting missions for NASA under its Commercial Orbital Transportation Service Program and Cargo Resupply Services contract.