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East Coast rocket test launch scrubbed

Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 5:02pm  ET

Antares may be visible from high elevations

WTOP's Hank Silverberg reports.

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UPDATE: Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 4:54pm ET

WASHINGTON - Wednesday's test rocket launch was scrubbed by the private firm contracted to supply the space station.

The launch of the Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Va. was scheduled for 5 p.m. but a premature separation of the umbilical cord to the rocket scrubbed the launch.

The rocket was made by Orbital Sciences based in Dulles. If the test is eventually successful, the same company could send a cargo ship aboard Antares to the International space station by mid summer.

No word on when it will be rescheduled.

EARLIER: Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 5:16am ET

BROCK VERGAKIS
Associated Press

ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) -- A private company is planning a test launch Wednesday of a rocket intended to help eventual supply runs to the International Space Station, but officials warn weather could delay the effort.

Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles is set to launch its unmanned Antares rocket Wednesday from Wallops Island, Va., and it could be visible in cities from Washington to New York.

But NASA said Tuesday there's only a 45 percent chance weather conditions would allow a launch Wednesday. Orbital would try again Thursday if need be.

If successful in sending a practice payload into orbit, Orbital aims to send its cargo ship to dock with the International Space Station this summer on a test run.

Orbital and California-based SpaceX have contracted to make space station supply runs with NASA, which ended its shuttle program in 2011.


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