The Antares Rocket, which was built as a project between NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp, has made it’s first launch as it successfully carried a “dummy” payload into space. Liftoff occurred at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday April 21st from Wallops Island, Va.
One thing you will undoubtably notice in the video above is the rate of acceleration, it’s awfully slow, which is because of the low amount of thrust involved in this launch. As the rocket gains altitude it finally begins to break the sound barrier and make it’s way into space.
Today’s successful test flight of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket from the spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, demonstrates an additional private space-launch capability for the United States and lays the groundwork for the first Antares cargo mission to the International Space Station later this year. The growing potential of America’s commercial space industry and NASA’s use of public-private partnerships are central to President Obama’s strategy to ensure U.S. leadership in space exploration while pushing the bounds of scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century. With NASA focusing on the challenging and exciting task of sending humans deeper into space than ever before, private companies will be crucial in taking the baton for American cargo and crew launches into low-Earth orbit. I congratulate Orbital Sciences and the NASA teams at Wallops, and look forward to more groundbreaking missions in the months and years ahead.” – White House Statement