WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is scheduled to launch its first Antares rocket from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility on Wednesday, April 17.
NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 4 p.m. EDT. Liftoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. with a daily launch window that runs until 8 p.m. If needed, back-up launch opportunities are available April 18-21.
The Antares test flight is the first of two missions Orbital is scheduled to conduct this year under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program. This mission will demonstrate the Antares launch system beginning with its April 6 rollout and placement on the launch pad through its fueling, launch, and delivery of a mass simulator payload into orbit.
The mass simulator matches the weight and dimensions of the Cygnus spacecraft, which Orbital has developed to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The simulator carries instruments to collect data about the launch environment during the Antares flight.
In advance of the launch, NASA will host a media briefing to discuss the Wallops Flight Facility, Orbital's activities under NASA's COTS and Commercial Resupply Services initiatives, and the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A. It will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Wallops Visitors Center. At 3 p.m., NASA will host a prelaunch news conference about the test launch and mission. Both briefings will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency's website.
News media may request accreditation to attend the prelaunch news conferences and launch by contacting Keith Koehler at 757-824-1579 or email@example.com.
The deadline for U.S. media to apply for accreditation is Thursday, April 11. The deadline has passed for international news media to apply.
For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:
For an updated scheduled of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage times, visit: