The Antares rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corp., is set for a first test launch Wednesday evening, weather permitting. Its maker is, like SpaceX, under contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station.
Courtesy of Bill Ingalls/NASA/Reuters
"It's going to be the biggest and loudest and brightest thing that's ever been launched from Wallops," says Frank Culbertson, a former NASA astronaut and the executive vice president who oversees Orbital Sciences' advanced-programs group. The facility typically launches sounding rockets, research balloons, and conducts aviation research. It hasn't been the site of an orbital mission since 1985.
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