Orbital Sciences Launches Test Flight to Space Station

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- An Orbital Sciences Corp. 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 jsalant@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net