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Launch pad problem scrubs launch of Antares rocket for NASA

April 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., April 18 (UPI) -- NASA says a premature separation of a launch pad umbilical connection aborted the launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket late Wednesday.

The next launch attempt from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., has been set for Friday, the space agency reported Thursday.

The launch team from NASA's commercial partner Orbital Sciences scrubbed Wednesday launch attempt with 12 minutes remaining in the countdown.

Engineers were analyzing what occurred to determine what measures would be taken to resolve the issue, NASA said.

"The good news is that this is a simple adjustment to the external support systems," said Frank Culbertson, Orbital Sciences' executive vice president and mission director for the Antares launch.

The Antares rocket is designed to put payloads into low Earth orbit under a contract with NASA.

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