Learning More about the Private-Company behind the Antares Rocke - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Learning More about the Private-Company behind the Antares Rocket Launch

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- The company behind Tuesday's Antares rocket launch is one of the world's leading space technology companies, and NASA has been a loyal customer.

Orbital Sciences Corporation develops and manufactures small and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.

In 2008, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded a $1.9 billion contract to the private company for eight unmanned cargo delivery missions to the International Space Station between 2011 and 2015.

The Antares rocket would have transported 5,000 pounds of cargo, including food, equipment and vehicle hardware, for the fourth time Tuesday, if  liftoff was successful.

Orbital's CEO David Thompson said the launch failure was disappointing, but rare.

" We've conducted a total of 284 launches of major rockets with a 95 percent overall success rate over the past three-plus decades," said Thompson, on a phone conference with investors.
 
Orbital Sciences dipped slightly, on the New York Stock Exchange, hours before the explosion Tuesday. During after hours, the stock dropped like a rock around the time of the fiery accident. On Wednesday, the stock rebounded slightly, but is still down nearly 17 percent from Tuesday's closing bell. 
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