NASA's commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is scheduled to launch its first Antares rocket from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Wednesday, April 17. Orbital managers held a Launch Readiness Review Monday afternoon and gave a “go” to proceed toward launch, pending the outcome of a Wallops Range Authority to Proceed meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Liftoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. with a launch window that runs until 8 p.m. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 4 p.m. EDT.
There is a 45 percent chance of favorable weather at the time of launch. Low clouds are the primary concern for a weather violation. If needed, back-up launch opportunities are available April 18-21.
In advance of the launch, NASA will host a media briefing to discuss the Wallops Flight Facility, Orbital's activities under NASA's commercial space initiatives, and the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A. It will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Wallops Visitors Center. At 3 p.m., NASA will host a prelaunch news conference about the test launch and mission. Both briefings will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency's website.