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, 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


From 'Unproud' To 'Hombre,' Election 2016 Is Testing Our Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster noticed the number of unique words coming out of this campaign, and has been using Twitter to report the most searchable words. Lexicographer Peter Sokolowski talks to Rachel Martin.

A History Of Election Cake And Why Bakers Want To #MakeAmericaCakeAgain

Bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are reviving election cake: a boozy, dense fruitcake that was a way for women to participate in the democratic process before they had the right to vote.

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election

Ana Navarro has become a standard bearer for Republican women repudiating Donald Trump. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with the GOP strategist about her view of the election, which is only 16 days away.

The Next Generation Of Local, Low-Power FM Stations Expands In Urban Areas

The next wave of low power FM stations is coming on the air. Initially restricted to rural areas because of interference concerns, nearly 2,000 new stations have been approved — many in urban areas.

Leave a Comment

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