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Orbital Sciences Launches Test Flight to Space Station

An Orbital Sciences Corp. (ORB) rocket lifted off today in an attempt to send an unmanned commercial craft to the International Space Station.

The company’s new Antares rocket launched at 10:58 a.m. from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The liftoff had been postponed a day because bad weather on Sept. 13 delayed the rocket’s transport to the launch pad.

The mission is the final test before Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital can make regular cargo deliveries under a $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

Closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp., controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, last year became the first company to berth a private supply ship with the station.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at

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