Watch Live: Commercial Antares Rocket Launches to Space Station

by Nancy Atkinson on September 18, 2013

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UPDATE: Orbital Sciences successfully launched its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard its Antares rocket at 10:58 a.m. EDT Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This is the first time a spacecraft launched from Virginia is heading toward the International Space Station. Above is the launch video, and we’ll have a full re-cap article coming soon! The live NASA TV feed is below. (end of update)

Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft is set to become the second private spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station. Today’s historic launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia has a launch window from 10:50 AM to 11:30 AM EDT, with launch likely to occur at 0:58 a.m. EDT (1458 GMT) from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. You can watch it live here on NASA TV’s Ustream feed.

As of this writing, the Wallops range is currently red due to low cloud conditions and something called “distance focus over pressure,” according to the Orbital Sciences Twitter feed. However, they expect it to clear later in count, and the rocket is being fueled.

Also, if you live along the US east coast near the Virginia area, you may be able to see the launch for yourself! It won’t be as visible as the recent nighttime launch of the LADEE mission, but should still be visible to a wide area, if the skies are clear. Read our complete guide to how to view the launch here.



Live streaming video by Ustream

Here’s a timelapse of the Antares rocket heading out the the launchpad:

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, is seen during sunrise on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 in Virginia. NASA's commercial space partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation, is targeting a Sept. 18 launch for its demonstration cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, is seen during sunrise on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 in Virginia. NASA’s commercial space partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation, is targeting a Sept. 18 launch for its demonstration cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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