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Orbital Sciences delays launch of Antares rocket

Published on Apr 21, 2013 6:10 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Orbital Sciences, one of two private US firms chosen by Nasa to shuttle cargo to the International Space Station, delayed a bid Saturday to launch a first test flight of its Antares rocket.

Launch was rescheduled for Sunday at 5pm (5am Singapore time) from the Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia state's Eastern Shore.

"Excessive wind levels have caused mission managers to delay the launch attempt today of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket," Nasa said on its website.

"The high-altitude wind speeds exceed range safety restrictions." The Antares rocket, a two-stage launch vehicle 40m tall and 12.8 feet in diameter, is set to hit an orbit of 249km about 10 minutes after take-off.

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