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Orbital conducts ‘hot fire’ test of space vehicle

Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corporation completed a hot fire test of the Antares space launch vehicle Feb. 22 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

Wallops Island in southeast Virginia is scheduled to be the site for several future launches with Orbital in coming years. Two launches will be conducted under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Space Act Agreement with NASA. Eight cargo supply missions to the International Space Station will be conducted between 2013 and 2016.

The test was conducted during the evening hours on MARS Pad 0A and lasted 29 seconds.

Gov. Bob McDonnell released the following statement: “Tonight we witnessed a major step forward in advancing commercial space flight at Wallops Island. Virginia stands proud in having played such a significant role in this historic event and I commend Orbital Sciences Corporation, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) and MARS for making this event happen. We serve a key role in national security as one of only four states in the United States that is licensed by the FAA to launch to orbit. The Commonwealth is ready to continue supporting Orbital in launching Antares on cargo resupply missions to the ISS as well as any other future missions.”

For more information on the Antares project from Orbital Science Corporation, click here.


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