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Orbital Sciences Corp. rolled out its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sept. 13, 2013. Antares is scheduled to launch Cygnus on its maiden flight to the International Space Station on Sept. 18 (http://www.space.com/22816-private-spacecraft-cygnus-cleared-launch.html)

 

The private commercial cargo capsule, Cygnus and its Antares rocket have been cleared for flight on Wednesday (Sept. 18).   The liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA launch facility, is scheduled for 10:50 - 11:05 am (EDT).  It will mark the demonstration flight of the Cygnus, robotic resupply capsule as it prepares for it role to resupply the International Space Station.

 

Both Cygnus and Antares are designed and manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the two leading suppliers in NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition.  The other main competitor is SpaceX with its Dragon capsule.  The most notable difference between the two capsules is that the Dragon capsule is designed to be recovered and reused, while the Cygnus capsule is designed to breakup on reentry to the atmosphere.  Learn more about how the two capsules compare at Space.com. (http://www.space.com/22823-dragon-cygnus-private-spacecraft-comparison.html)

 

You can watch the Cygnus spacecraft launch live on SPACE.com Wednesday, courtesy of NASA TV. NASA will also hold a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) to discuss the mission.

 

Hey, did you know:   Orbital Science Corporation hires summer interns.  Find out more - http://www.orbital.com/Careers/Internships/