Monday, February 25, 2013

New Privately Built Rocket Passes Key Engine Test

The commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. successfully tests the first stage engines of its Antares rocket during a hot fire test at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va., on Feb. 22, 2013.

A new commercial rocket designed to launch unmanned cargo missions to the International Space Station passed a key engine test Friday night (Feb. 22), setting the stage for the booster's debut flight in the months ahead, NASA officials say.

The Virginia-based company Orbital Sciences Corp. test-fired the first stage engines of its new Antares rocket at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va. — the home of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. T

he so-called "hot fire" test ignited the Antares rocket's engines for 29 seconds without ever leaving the launch pad.

Friday's engine test was aimed at verifying the fueling systems at the spaceport's launch Pad-0A and Antares rocket first stage would perform as expected during an actual mission, Orbital officials said.

For the rest of the story: http://www.livescience.com/27388-private-antares-rocket-test-success.html

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