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Antares Test Scheduled for NET May 31

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will provide launch range support for an Orbital ATK Antares 230 rocket first stage test scheduled for May 31 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A.

The window for the engine test, or hot fire, is 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. EDT. Backup test dates run through June 5. Completion of the test will be noted on the Wallops’ Facebook and Twitter sites.

During the test, the upgraded Antares dual RD-181 rocket engines will fire for 30 seconds at maximum 100% power (thrust) while the first stage of the test rocket will be held down on the pad. The hot fire will demonstrate the readiness of the rocket’s first stage and the launch pad fueling systems to support upcoming flights.

The test will be visible and audible in the Wallops Island local area. Given the broad window and non-operational nature of the test, no live webcast or formal public viewing is planned. NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will provide range support for the hot fire, including communications, data collection, range safety and area clearance.

The test is a key milestone leading up to the next flight of the Antares rocket, which is targeted for later this summer.

Orbital ATK is building, testing and flying the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. NASA initiatives like the cargo resupply contracts 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 International Space Station and low-Earth orbit.

Get more information about the Wallops Flight Facility at:


Keith Koehler
NASA Wallops Flight Facility

Trina Helquist
Orbital ATK

Kim Lochrie
Virginia Space