2nd Private Company Rockets Toward Space Station - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

2nd Private Company Rockets Toward Space Station

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The Antares rocket is shown taking off Wednesday morning from NASA's launchpad at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. (Photo: NASA) The Antares rocket is shown taking off Wednesday morning from NASA's launchpad at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. (Photo: NASA)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (WBOC/AP)- A Virginia company is on its way to the International Space Station, doubling the number of commercial suppliers.
 
Orbital Sciences Corp. launched its first-ever cargo ship Wednesday morning from Virginia. The capsule, named Cygnus, is due at the space station on Sunday, following four days of testing.
 
It's only the second private business to attempt a shipment like this. The California-based SpaceX company has been delivering station cargo for more than a year under a NASA contract.
 
The Cygnus capsule contains 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and goodies for the astronauts - nothing too valuable given this is a test flight.

It was the first mission for Cygnus and the first trip to Wallops for a rocket launch for some people in attendance who spoke with WBOC.

"I have been wanting to watch a shuttle launch at Cape Kennedy but never got there, so this was an opportunity for me to come down today and watch this one," said John Short of Milford.

"We, we've been to Florida and never been to a launch either.  If I had a bucket list, this would be on it.  I want to see a rocket launch, so we're here," said Terry Beauchamp of Parsonsburg.

Orbital Sciences' unmanned Antares rocket blasted off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore. It is the second major launch from Wallops this month. A NASA moonshot occurred Sept. 6.

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