NASA Partner Orbital Tests Rocket, Newest U.S. Launch Pad
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA commercial partner Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va., successfully conducted an engine test of its Antares rocket Friday at the nation's newest launch pad.
The company fired dual AJ26 rocket engines for the full duration 29 seconds while the rocket was bolted down on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. Known as a "hot fire" test, it demonstrated the readiness of the rocket's first stage and launch pad fueling systems to support upcoming test flights.
"This pad test is an important reminder of how strong and diverse the commercial space industry is in our nation," said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "A little more than one year after the retirement of the space shuttle, we had a U.S company resupplying the International Space Station. Now, another is taking the next critical steps to launch from America's newest gateway to low-Earth Orbit. Today marks significant progress for Orbital, MARS and the NASA team."
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