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Media Invited to NASA Commercial Partner New Rocket Rollout April 6
04.03.13
 
Orbital's hotfire test conducted at Wallops Flight Facility on Feb. 22 View Larger Image
Orbital's hotfire test conducted at Wallops Flight Facility on Feb. 22
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- News media are invited to cover the scheduled Saturday, April 6, morning rollout of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares launch vehicle to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

Orbital is testing the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. A demonstration flight of Antares and Cygnus to the International Space Station is planned for later this year. Following the successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission to the space station, Orbital will conduct eight cargo resupply flights to the orbiting laboratory through NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

The rollout, which is scheduled to begin at about 4:45 a.m. EDT, is in preparation for the launch vehicle's test flight later this month. Pad operations to raise the rocket to a vertical position will begin at about 6 a.m. will take two to three hours to complete. The launch window for Antares' test flight is between April 17 and 19.

Media representatives interested in covering the Antares rollout and pad operations must contact Rebecca Powell at 757-824-1139 or rebecca.h.powell@nasa.gov by 4 p.m., April 5. A media escort will leave Wallops' main gate at 4:30 a.m. for vehicle rollout. Orbital and NASA representatives will be available for comment. All times are tentative, and reporters should contact Wallops for up-to-date information.

NASA initiatives like COTS are helping develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit. In parallel, NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with commercial space partners developing capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil in the next few years.

For more information about the upcoming test flight, visit: www.nasa.gov/orbital