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Orbital pushes back first Cygnus ISS mission to next year
Posted: Sat, Oct 20, 2012, 9:58 AM ET (1358 GMT)
Antares launch illustration (Orbital Sciences Corp.) Orbital Sciences Corporation announced this week that it has rescheduled the first mission to the International Space Station of its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the spring of 2013. The launch, a demonstration mission under Orbital's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) award from NASA, is now planned for March or April of 2013 from its spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. A demonstration launch of the Antares rocket with a Cygnus is planned for this December. Orbital didn't give a reason for the latest delay, although the company has attributed previous delays to completion of the launch site, which was handed over to Orbital late last month. Once its COTS flights are complete Orbital will fly eight Cygnus missions to the ISS under a cargo contract with NASA, similar to one held by SpaceX. The announcement was tied to the release of Orbital's third quarter financial results, where the company reported a net income of $19.5 million on revenues of $372.9 million, compared to $16.5 million of net income on $342.2 million of revenues in the same quarter of 2011.
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