Orbital's Antares rocket lifted off successfully today - 4/21/13 at 5 p.m. EDT:
The second stage ignited right on time and the system delivered a test mass into orbit.
The successful test paves the way for further test flights launched from NASA's Wallops Launch Facility in Virginia and ultimately lead to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).
Orbital is the second commercial company to launch a rocket designed to ultimately deliver cargo to ISS. SpaceX was first and has delivered cargo to ISS.
These companies mark the eventual return of American hardware delivering cargo and perhaps astronauts to ISS instead of relying on foreign capability.
This is a major landmark in America's space program and spurs competition and redundancy in this most critical area.
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