2nd private company about to fly to space station

Associated Press
Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket is being readied on the launchpad at the NASA Wallops Island test flight facility in Wallops Island, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. The unmanned Antares rocket is scheduled to blast off Wednesday morning and will carry 1,300 pounds of food, clothes and other items as part of this test flight. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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NASA's commercial space station suppliers are about to double in number.

On Wednesday morning, Orbital Sciences Corp. plans to launch an unmanned rocket with a capsule packed with supplies for the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 10:58 a.m. from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

It will be the first-ever space station supply run for the Virginia-based company. And it will be only the second business to attempt a space station shipment like this. The California-based SpaceX company has been launching station supplies for more than a year.

The Cygnus capsule contains 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and goodies for the astronauts — nothing too valuable given this is a test flight. Four days of orbital testing are planned. That would put arrival on Sunday.

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