Antares Cleared for Launch on Wednesday Evening

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The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in Virginia.  NASA's commercial space partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation, is scheduled to launch Antares on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.  Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket has been cleared for its maiden flight on Wednesday evening. The launch window opens at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT. NASA Television will begin at 4 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. PDT.

The flight from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island in Virginia will test the company’s new rocket and also launch a mass simulator that will approximate Orbital’s Cygnus freighter, which is designed to carry cargo to the International Space Station later this year.

Orbital Sciences will be providing updates on Twitter @orbitalsciences and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OrbitalSciencesCorp. The company will post photos on its Flickr page www.flickr.com/photos/orbitalsciences/.