Antares Launches Cygnus to International Space Station

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Antares lifts off from Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA)

Antares lifts off from Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA)

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket lifted off from Wallops Island, Virg., at 12:07 pm EST and placed a Cygnus cargo ship in orbit. Reports indicate that Cygnus has deployed its solar arrays as planned and is healthy.

The freighter has begun a three-day journey to the International Space Station, where berthing is scheduled for Sunday. This is the first of eight commercial cargo runs that Orbital is making to ISS under a NASA contract.

Antares lifted off on time into a clear blue sky from its coastal launch site. This is the third successful flight of the new rocket, which made its maiden flight last April. Cygnus is making its second flight to the station after a successful demonstration mission in September.