Antares Puts Cygnus into Orbit

Antares lifts off on a flight to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Antares lifts off on a flight to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Antares successfully placed a Cygnus freighter into orbit this morning in a picture-perfect launch from Wallops Island, Virginia. Cygnus is now flying on its own and preparing to deploy its solar panels on its way to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The vehicle is set for rendezvous and berthing at ISS on Sunday morning.

Cygnus_orbit_illustration
Illustration of Cygnus approaching the International Space Station. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

UPDATE #1: Controllers have deployed Cygnus’ solar arrays and initiated its propulsion system. The spacecraft appears to be in good health at this point. It will now make a series of burns over the next four days to catch up to ISS, with an expected berthing on Sunday morning.

UPDATE #2: A post launch press conference will be broadcast living beginning at 12:30 pm EDT/9:30 am PDT. Watch it live.