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Orbital Successfully Conducts First State "Hot Fire" Test of Antares Space Launch Vehicle


Location: Richmond, VA

Governor McDonnell heartily congratulates Orbital Sciences Corporation on a successful Hot Fire test of their new Antares space launch vehicle from the new launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, VA. The 29-second hot fire test took place this evening at MARS Pad 0A, which was designed and built over the last several years to accommodate liquid-fuel space launch vehicles.

"Tonight we witnessed a major step forward in advancing commercial space flight at Wallops Island" said Governor McDonnell. "Virginia stands proud in having played such a significant role in this historic event and I commend Orbital Sciences Corporation, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA) and MARS for making this event happen. We serve a key role in national security as one of only four states in the United States that is licensed by the FAA to launch to orbit. The Commonwealth is ready to continue supporting Orbital in launching Antares on cargo resupply missions to the ISS as well as any other future missions."

Orbital, a northern Virginia based corporation, is scheduled to conduct two launches under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Space Act Agreement with NASA in 2013. In addition, the company will launch eight operational cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS), using Antares vehicles from late 2013 through 2016 under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The COTS and CRS flights will continue to launch from MARS Pad 0A, located on NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia, which is ideally suited for ISS missions, and can also accommodate launches to other orbits of interest.

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