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First Antares Liftoff in 2 Years Targeted for Dazzling Nighttime Leap from Virginia on Oct. 13

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 21:06
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Antares rocket stands erect, reflecting off the calm waters the night before a launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, on Oct. 28, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer/

The first Antares rocket liftoff in nearly two years is now being targeted for Oct. 13 on what is sure to be a dazzling nighttime leap from NASA’s Virginia launch base – and potentially offering a thrilling skyshow to millions of US East Coast spectators, if all goes well. Top NASA and Orbital ATK managers formally approved the launch of the upgraded commercial Antares rocket for next Thursday evening, Oct. 13, on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The announcement follows on the heels of a successful joint pre-launch Flight Readiness Review (FRR). Blastoff of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket is slated for 9:13 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s picturesque Eastern shore. Antares will carry the Orbital OA-5 Cygnus cargo freighter to orbit on a flight bound for the ISS and its multinational crew of astronauts and cosmonauts. The launch marks the first nighttime liftoff of the Antares and it could be visible up and down the eastern seaboard if weather and atmospheric conditions cooperate to provide a spectacular viewing opportunity to the most populated region in North America. The 14 story tall commercial Antares rocket will launch for the first time in the upgraded 230 configuration – powered by new Russian-built first stage engines. Watch for Ken’s continuing Antares/Cygnus mission and launch reporting. He will be reporting from on site at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA during the launch campaign. Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Ken Kremer

The post First Antares Liftoff in 2 Years Targeted for Dazzling Nighttime Leap from Virginia on Oct. 13 appeared first on Universe Today.


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