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Orbital Sciences renames Taurus II rocket "Antares"
Posted: Tue, Dec 13, 2011, 6:24 AM ET (1124 GMT)
Antares launch illustration (Orbital Sciences Corp.) Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Monday that it is renaming the Taurus II rocket it is developing to launch cargo missions to the ISS to "Antares". Company officials explained that a rocket the "scale and significance" of the Taurus II, the largest rocket developed by the company, deserved its own name. The name change also avoids any confusion with the different, smaller Taurus XL rocket, which suffered failures in its last two launch attempts. Antares will initially be used to launch Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the ISS under a contract with NASA, although the company seeks to use the rocket for other medium-class payloads as well. The first Antares launch, a demonstration mission, is planned for early 2012.
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