On This Day In Space: Oct. 17, 2016: Antares rocket returns to flight (Image Credit: Space.com)
On Oct. 17, 2016, the company that was then Orbital ATK returned its Antares rocket to flight, successfully launching a cargo shipment to the International Space Station (ISS) after its previous cargo mission failed to launch.
The private spaceflight company was contracted by NASA to fly cargo to the ISS, and stakes were high for this launch. Orbital ATK’s last attempt nearly two years earlier ended in a catastrophic explosion a few seconds after liftoff.
Despite some delays, the newly upgraded Antares rocket flawlessly blasted off into the night sky from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
Six days later, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the ISS to deliver food, supplies and science experiments to the crew. Orbital ATK has since been acquired by Northrop Grumman, which took over Antares and Cygnus launches to the space station.
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