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NASA Media Accreditation Open For Test Flight Of Orbital's Antares Rocket

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Media accreditation is open for a test flight of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch is targeted to occur between April 16-18 at approximately 3 p.m. EDT, the day of launch.

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Antares is undergoing testing that will enable the rocket to eventually carry experiments and supplies to the International Space Station aboard a Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This test flight will not launch a Cygnus spacecraft or rendezvous with the space station. A demonstration flight of Cygnus to the orbiting laboratory is planned for later this year.

International news media representatives without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials to cover the prelaunch and launch activities by March 29. Early accreditation is necessary to process international media credentials. For media representatives who are U.S. citizens, the deadline to apply is April 10.

Media should email their accreditation requests to Keith Koehler at For questions about accreditation or additional information, contact Koehler by email or call him at 757-824-1579.

NASA also is inviting 25 social media users to apply for credentials for the Antares launch. Social media users selected to attend will be given the same access as journalists. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Registration for social media accreditation is open online. Because of the security processing deadline, registration is limited to U.S. citizens. For U.S. social media, the application deadline is 5 p.m. March 29. For more information about NASA social media accreditation requirements and to register, visit:

Orbital Sciences Corp. is building and testing its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. After successful completion of a COTS demonstration mission to the station, Orbital will begin conducting eight planned cargo resupply flights to the outpost through NASA's $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company.

NASA initiatives, such as COTS, are helping to develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry. NASA's Commercial Crew Program also is working with commercial space partners to develop capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from American soil during the next several years.

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