Cygnus

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Despite a massive explosion in October, authorities say a state-owned launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility should be repaired and ready for testing late next year.

Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff on Oct. 28. The rocket was carrying a cargo ship was bound for the International Space Station.

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It’s unlikely that the boat which delayed the launch of the Antares rocket launch at the Wallops Flight Facility last Monday will be fined.

Just before the launch the mission was scrubbed because a 26-foot sail boat was inside the safety zone.

Orbital Sciences said that it is not possible to say how much the delay cost but the company said, “It would not have been cheap.”

The rocket was carrying Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft that carried 5-thousand pounds of supplies for the International Space Station.

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An Antares rocket exploded just seconds after liftoff from the Walllops Flight Facility late yesterday destroying the Cygnus cargo vessel carrying to 5-thousand pounds of supplies to the international space station.

The company will put together an investigative board to find out what caused the unmanned rocket to explode.

Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s Executive Vice President, told a news conference last night that it is too early to tell what exactly happened.

NASA

Hurricane Gonzalo coming up from the south could affect the October 27th launch of the Orb-3 CRS Mission rocket launch if the storm heads north into the Atlantic.

NASA officials at Wallops Flight Facility say that before giving the go ahead to the launch a team must first assess the situation from their weather station in Bermuda.

Steve Kremer, Chief of the Wallops Range and Mission Management office, told WBOC that Wallops relies on the Bermuda tracking systems to communicate with the Antares rocket during the flight as well as to ensure public safety.  

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A fresh delivery is on its way to the International Space Station.

Orbital Sciences Corp. launched a cargo ship Sunday from the Virginia coast. Daylight limited visibility, but sky-gazers from North Carolina to New Jersey still had a shot at seeing the rising rocket.

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The International Space Station resupply mission has been delayed another day.

It’s now scheduled for Sunday July 13th cancelling the Saturday launch.

Severe weather in the area of the Wallops Flight Facility has repeatedly hampered the launch of the Cygnus spacecraft.

The vehicle will carry around 33-hundred pounds of supplies including science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The International Space Station has one less capsule and a lot less trash.

A commercial cargo ship ended its five-week visit Tuesday morning. NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins used the space station's big robot arm to release the capsule, called Cygnus.

Cygnus is filled with garbage and will burn up when it plunges through the atmosphere Wednesday.

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Officials at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility declared the Cygnus space module resupply mission to the International Space Station a success.

The spacecraft re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere early yesterday afternoon and Orbital Sciences is now preparing to get into the heart of its contract with the space agency.

The next Cygnus space module is now on its way to Wallops with a launched date for mid-December.

Orbital Sciences spokesman Barry Benseki told WBOC that there will be at least eight such launches over the next three years from Wallops. 

NASA

The Cygnus has successfully docked with the International Space Station.

The spacecraft was launched on top of an Antares rocket September 18th.

The unmanned craft is owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation and reached its destination on Sunday.

With the smooth hook up the firm is only the second company to accomplish such a resupply feat.

The California-based SpaceX Company took the lead last year.

WBOC reports that with the successful docking Orbital Sciences can begin making good on its nearly $2 billion contract with NASA for more Cygnus deliveries.