Antares rocket launch at Wallops delayed 1 day

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Sky watchers will have to wait an extra 23 hours and 22 minutes for Antares' return to flight at Wallops Flight Facility.

Liftoff has been postponed from Thursday at 9:13 p.m. to Friday at 8:51 p.m., NASA announced Monday. The Orbital ATK-owned vehicle is set to carry more than 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station inside its Cygnus spacecraft, powered by an Antares rocket.

"The Antares and Cygnus team encountered and resolved a minor vehicle processing issue over the weekend which, together with time spent on contingency planning for Hurricane Matthew, necessitated the one-day slip," NASA said in a press release.

The new schedule hinges on completing all remaining pre-launch testing and operational activities, officials say. And the weather must comply before and during the launch.

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The new timeline moves the spacecraft's rendezvous with the space station to 6:05 a.m. Oct. 17.

If skies are clear, the launch should be visible along much of the East Coast.

Antares hasn't taken off from Wallops since it exploded seconds after takeoff in October 2014. Orbital has replaced the engines that were found at fault in the explosion with new, Russian-made motors.


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