NPR : News

Filed Under:

Antares Blasts Off On ISS Supply Mission

This post was updated at 2:05 p.m. ET.

Private space venture Orbital Sciences Corp. launched its second resupply mission to the International Space Station in a perfect launch from at Wallops Island, Va, after several delays.

The Antares rocket, carrying an unmanned Cygnus resupply capsule packed with 3,293 lbs. of cargo, including food, science experiments and small satellites lifted off from Wallops at 12:52 ET.

Wallops' mission control reports that "the Cygnus spacecraft is safely on orbit with solar arrays deployed."

At a pre-launch briefing on Saturday, former NASA astronaut and Orbital Sciences CEO Frank Culbertson said the company was "real proud to be part of the team that is keeping the station flying and providing the crew with cargo and research they need."

By way of background, Space.com says:

"Orbital [Sciences], which is based in Dulles, Virginia, has a $1.9-billion contract with NASA to carry out eight cargo missions through 2016. Elon Musk's SpaceX, the only other commercial company with a NASA resupply contract, has been commissioned to fly 12 missions to the station under a $1.6 billion deal.

"The mission, dubbed Orb-2, was originally scheduled for May. It had been postponed due to conflicts with other launches and technical issues, including the failure of an AJ26 engine — the kind that powers Antares' first stage — during a test at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, which prompted an investigation.

"Then this week, the mission was repeatedly delayed because stormy weather prevented Orbital's launch team from conducting normal operations to get the rocket ready on the pad."

Antares made its first successful flight in April 2013.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Out Of Juvenile Corrections, Poems Of Fury, Loss — And Lingering Beauty

Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they've shared their poems with NPR.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

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