June 10 Launch Targeted for Orbital’s Next Cargo Run

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Orbital Sciences Corp.’s next cargo mission to the international space station is scheduled to lift off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, June 10 at 2:07 p.m. EDT, NASA said in a May 2 press release.

Orbital had been working toward a May 6 launch, but that date was pushed back after Space Exploration Technologies Corp., NASA’s other contract cargo hauler, overcame a series of delays on the ground and launched a mission April 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. 

Orbital and SpaceX are delivering cargo to the space station for NASA under Commercial Resupply Services contracts signed in 2008. Orbital’s eight-flight deal is worth $1.9 billion, SpaceX’s 12-flight contract is worth $1.6 billion. SpaceX has so far launched two of its contracted missions, while Orbital has launched one. These contracts run through 2015, but NASA is looking to extend them another two years. Orbital carries NASA’s cargo in the expendable Cygnus vehicle, which is launched by the company’s Antares rocket