Countdown Nears On Antares Rocket Launch | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Countdown Nears On Antares Rocket Launch

Orbital Sciences Corp., a commercial space contractor, hopes on Wednesday to conduct the first test-launch of its Antares rocket, designed to ferry cargo to the International Space Station.

The two-stage rocket, a milestone for commercial space flight, is scheduled to lift off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 5 p.m. Eastern time. In theory, millions of people along the Eastern seaboard should be able to see the launch.

Frank Cublertson is Vice President at Orbital Sciences Corp. said "it's going to be the biggest and loudest and brightest thing that ever launched from Wallops I believe, so it'll be visible up and down the coast."

The Washington Post writes:

"If all goes as planned, the unmanned rocket's practice payload will be vaulted into orbit from Wallops Island before burning up in the atmosphere on its return to Earth several months later."

The newspaper says the goal of the launch is "to make sure the rocket works and that a simulated version of a cargo ship that will dock with space station on future launches separates into orbit. Orbital officials say that should occur about 10 minutes after liftoff."

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel says Wednesday's launch is only a test and that "if successful, the next trip will deliver supplies to the station. That would make Orbital the second private company after California's Space X to dock with the space station."

As of early afternoon, Wallops reported "a 45% chance for launch based on weather. The primary weather constraint of concern is a cloud layer at the opening of the launch window."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

What's A Pirate's Least-Favorite Puzzle? One That Hates Arrrrs

In each pair of clues, the answer to the first clue is a word that contains the consecutive letters A-R. Drop the A-R, and the remaining letters in order will form a word that answers the second clue.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: Three Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
NPR

Trump's Campaign Theme Song Headache? Blame Michael Jackson, Sort Of

Candidates keep getting in trouble for picking theme songs without getting approval from the artist. You can trace this back to changes in both campaigning and the way companies sell products.
NPR

Want A Taste Of Virtual Reality? Step One: Find Some Cardboard

Fancy headsets can cost between $200 and $500. But if you have a smartphone, some extra time and an empty pizza box, you can make your own.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.