Orbital Sciences launches Antares rocket
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Orbital Sciences, one of two private US firms chosen by Nasa to shuttle cargo to the International Space Station, launched a first test flight of its Antares rocket on Sunday.
The launch of the two-stage launch vehicle - 40m tall and 3.9m in diameter - took place at 5pm (5am Singapore time) from the Wallops Flight Facility situated on the Eastern Shore of the US state of Virginia.
The launch had initially been planned for Wednesday but was called off 12 minutes before the firing up of the engines due to a minor technical problem. A second attempt on Saturday was scrapped due to strong wind.
A US$1.9 billion (S$2.35 billion) contract requires Orbital Sciences to deliver freight to the ISS over the course of eight flights by the beginning of 2016.