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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Orbital ATK's Rocket Set To Finally Fly Again After 2014 Explosion [Updated]

• popsci.com by Sarah Fecht

SpaceX isn't the only company with rocket problems. Orbital ATK hasn't flown since its Antares rocket blew up seconds after liftoff in October 2014, burning up thousands of pounds of supplies bound for the International Space Station. Now, finally, the company has its big comeback scheduled for October 14 at 8:51pm Eastern.

The launch has been pushed back a day. Contingency planning for Hurricane Matthew, which didn't end up causing too much trouble at the Florida launch site, prevented the team from tackling a "minor vehicle processing issue" in time for the original October 13 launch date. The Antares 230 is slated to take off with about 5,300 pounds of supplies for the astronauts on the space station.

Orbital was supposed to be ready for takeoff a few months ago, but ran into some delays. Which is to be expected, considering the company has been retrofitting the Antares rocket with entirely new engines--hence the new name, Antares 230. In the meantime, the company has been sending shipments to the space station by hitching a ride on another company's rockets.

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