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Antares hot fire test aborted
Posted: Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 6:26 AM ET (1126 GMT)
Antares test article on pad before hot fire test (NASA/Wallops) A static "hot fire" test of the first stage engines of a new launch vehicle was aborted Wednesday evening in Virginia. Orbital Sciences Corporation planned to perform a 29-second test of the first stage of the company's new Antares rocket, firing the engines while holding the stage down on the launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia. However, the rocket's flight computer aborted the countdown seconds before ignition because of an unspecified "anomalous" condition with the vehicle. A new date for the launch has not been announced but is unlikely to be before next week. The test is the final major milestone before the first launch of the rocket, carrying a demonstration payload, planned to take place about a month after the hot fire test. Orbital developed the Antares to launch its Cygnus spacecraft to ferry cargo to the International Space Station, as well as for other medium-class satellite launches.
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