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Antares Rocket Set To Launch From Wallops In April

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The Antares will be the largest rocket NASA has launched in 70 years.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility
The Antares will be the largest rocket NASA has launched in 70 years.

Scientists at the NASA flight facility at Wallops Island are set to launch the largest rocket in its 70-year history. The Antares Rocket stands 133 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter, and scientists say, because of the sheer size of it, it will be visible for a minute or more in the skies as it churns its way towards the international space station.

Orbital Sciences Corporation has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to launch rockets and send experiments and supplies to the space station — a chore that was formerly handled by NASA's space shuttle program, which was shut down in 2011.

Scientists estimate that the rocket launch will be visible from North Carolina to New York and it is scheduled for April 17 at 5 p.m., although the window of opportunity to launch the rocket extends to April 19.

But those that miss this spectacle in the sky shouldn't be alarmed, as Orbital Sciences is planning to send Antares to the space station several times in the next few years.

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