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Antares launches first Cygnus spacecraft to ISS
Posted: Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 8:02 AM ET (1202 GMT)
Antares launch of Cygnus COTS Demo mission (NASA) An Antares rocket launched the first Cygnus commercial cargo spacecraft on a test flight to the International Space Station on Wednesday. The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, at 10:58 am EDT (1458 GMT) Wednesday, placing the Cygnus cargo spacecraft into low Earth orbit. The Cygnus, developed by Orbital as part of its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) award with NASA, will maneuver towards the station over the next several days, testing its systems. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the station and be grappled by the station's robotic arm early Sunday. The Cygnus is carrying 700 kilograms of supplies to the station on this demonstration flight, and will remain attached to the station for 30 days before departing and reentering. Orbital hopes that, if this test flight goes well, it can start regular cargo missions to the station as early as December.
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