Infrastructure improvements are under way at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in preparation for Orbital Sciences Corp.’s planned demonstration flight in late 2010 of a new rocket system designed to supply cargo to the International Space Station.
“We’re beginning the process of developing the infrastructure at the launch site,” Orbital Sciences Vice President of Public Relations Barron Beneski said recently. Beneski said the project is still in its early stages, but with a launch set for late 2010, it is anticipated all improvements should be in place by early fall that year.
NASA last February selected Orbital to demonstrate a system for cargo delivery to the space station in a three-year $320 million cooperative program called the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project. NASA will invest $170 million while Orbital contributes $150 million to the project.
NASA last month awarded Orbital a $1.9 billion contract to transport about 20 metric tons of cargo to the space station over eight missions between 2011 and 2015, using Orbital’s Taurus II launch vehicle and Cygnus maneuvering space vehicle.
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