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Antares sails test payload into orbit

Posted by Jason Davis

22-04-2013 11:12 CDT

Topics: commercial spaceflight, rockets

After a handful of weather delays and an Ethernet cable-induced scrub, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket finally made it off the launch pad. The rocket's maiden voyage appeared to go off without a hitch, culminating with the successful insertion of a payload meant to simulate the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit. This paves the way for a full-fledged demo flight to the International Space Station, which Orbital says may come later this year. 

Here are a few scenes from the launch:

Antares rises from the pad

NASA / Bill Ingalls

Antares rises from the pad
Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket rises from launch pad 0A on its maiden test flight.
AJ-26 engines roar to life

NASA / Bill Ingalls

AJ-26 engines roar to life
Two liquid-fueled AJ-26 engines power the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket into orbit during its maiden flight on April 21, 2013. The AJ-26 is a refurbished Soviet-era NK-33 engine originally built for Russia's N1 launch vehicle.
Virginia is for rockets

Orbital Sciences Corporation / NASA TV

Virginia is for rockets
The Virginia coast recedes under Antares' exhaust plume during its maiden flight on April 21, 2013.
Solid in space

Orbital Sciences Corporation / NASA TV

Solid in space
The second stage, solid-fueled CASTOR 30 engine burns during Antares' final push to orbit during its inaugural flight. The Alliant Techsystems logo is visible on the side.
See other posts from April 2013


Or read more blog entries about: commercial spaceflight, rockets


Happy: 04/22/2013 01:13 CDT

Wonderful! Space launches seem so reliable nowadays. The chance fear from the wild space race days is over. That's a great leap.

Victor & Rachel Tancredi: 04/22/2013 01:26 CDT

This should be a golden age for spaceflight, and we are here for it's birth!

Bob Ware: 04/22/2013 02:55 CDT

Congrats to Orbital!!!!

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