Sunday, April 21, 2013

Test supply mission to space station launched from Virginia Sunday

Test supply mission to space station launched from Virginia Sunday, Orbital Sciences Corporation, a NASA commercial space partner, launched the company’s Antares rocket from NASA’s new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia Sunday afternoon. The launch was a test flight for Orbital Sciences Corporation, to show that the Antares rocket can be used to send supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket had a simulated payload aboard to place into Earth orbit.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, “Today’s successful test marks another significant milestone in NASA’s plan to rely on American companies to launch supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station, bringing this important work back to the United States where it belongs.”

Bolden also urged national lawmakers to approve a budget with funds for commercial space projects. “President Obama has presented a budget for the next year that ensures the United States will remain the world leader in space exploration, and a critical part of this budget is the funding needed to advance NASA’s commercial space initiative. In order to stop outsourcing American space launches, we need to have the President’s budget enacted. It’s a budget that’s good for our economy, good for the U.S. space program – and good for American taxpayers.”

John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy director, emphasized that using private industry is vital to NASA’s future work. “The growing potential of America’s commercial space industry and NASA’s use of public-private partnerships are central to President Obama’s strategy to ensure U.S. leadership in space exploration while pushing the bounds of scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century. With NASA focusing on the challenging and exciting task of sending humans deeper into space than ever before, private companies will be crucial in taking the baton for American cargo and crew launches into low-Earth orbit.”

After a successful test mission to the International Space Station, NASA says Orbital Sciences Corporation will send eight cargo flights to the ISS through a $1.9 billion contract.

Meanwhile, Soyuz35 is scheduled to take Expedition 36/37 crew to the International Space Station in a launch May 28 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

Here in Florida, Space Exploration Technologies are scheduled to launch their SpaceX 3 Commercial Resupply Services Flight to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 11.

Click here to visit the Orbital Sciences Corporation website.

Click here to visit NASA’s website about the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Click here to visit the SpaceX website.

Click here to visit the NASA website.

You can contact Mike Royer at mroyer5@yahoo.com

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