Antares Breaks Launch Week Curse, as SpaceX Suffers Last-Second Scrub

Antares leaps into the night from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va., at 9:16 p.m. EDT Friday. Photo Credit: NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

After a frustrating week in which United Launch Alliance (ULA), SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Corp. have now endured no less than seven scrubbed launch attempts due to appalling weather and agonizing last-moment technical troubles, the rocket’s red glare returned to the eastern seaboard of the United States on Friday evening, as one planned flight—but not the other—turned night into day for spectators along the Virginia coast.

Northrop Grumman’s Antares 230+ booster sprang from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va., at 9:16 p.m. EDT, carrying the NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS). But the “Launch Week Curse” was not quite done with Florida, as a brand-new SpaceX Falcon 9 on Space Launch Complex (SLC)-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. was dramatically aborted at T-2 seconds before its targeted 9:43 p.m. EDT liftoff. It must await another attempt, no sooner than 9:39 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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