Pierce also said Orbital now plans to test-fire the first stage of its Antares rocket in late July or early August at the new Wallops Island, Va., spaceport — a month later than the schedule announced in late April.
A successful test-firing will be followed by a demonstration flight of the two-stage Antares vehicle, without the Cygnus cargo module, in August or September.
The first Antares-Cygnus flight, designed to carry cargo to the international space station, then would occur in November or December.
Antares and Cygnus would begin regular cargo deliveries to the station, under Orbital’s Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, at a rate of two flights per year starting in 2013.
Orbital’s CRS contract, valued at about $1.9 billion, calls for eight flights carrying a total of 20,000 kilograms of cargo to the space station
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