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Largest Ever Private Rocket Called Antares Cleared by NASA for Launch Test

Apr 17, 2013 14:05 IST

The largest ever private rocket called Orbital Sciences Corp’s Antares was cleared by the NASA and the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp for the launch. The Antares rocket will launch from new commercial spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Orbital Sciences Corp’s CEO, Frank Culbertson, who is also a former astronaut of NASA, declared that Antares would be the loudest, biggest and brightest ever rocket to be launched from Wallops. It would be visible up as well as down the East Coast.

Antares is a 13-storey rocket and till now, it is the largest vehicle that will launch from Wallops. Wallops otherwise is an ideal place for the launch of small balloons and boosters.
In case the launch is successful, Orbital Sciences would join the league of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in blasting the cargo to International Space Station, which flies around 250 miles above the surface of Earth.

Orbital Sciences and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) have contracts worth 3.5 billion US dollars. The test flight aims at demonstrating the Antares rocket of the Orbital Sciences.

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