April 17, 2013
NASA scrubbed the debut test launch of the Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares commercial launcher Wednesday when an umbilical cord connecting the rocket to the launch pad came loose, possibly because of high winds.
The launch team is analyzing the cause of the glitch. A second try from NASA’s Wallops Island launch complex in Virginia is possible on Friday, April 19, but high winds may push the launch back, an Orbital official said.
The rocket carries a mostly dummy payload. But it is to disperse three NASA Ames Research Center PhoneSat cubesat research spacecraft.
The two-stage Antares commercial launcher was funded under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services contract and is designed for a variety of medium-sized missions, including ferrying cargo to the International Space Station. The first Antares station demonstration mission is set for later this year.