Virginia company about to make space station debut

Sep 17, 2013, 12:01 PM EDT
Antares Cygnus Cargo Resupply
AP/NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Virginia company is all set to make its first-ever supply run to the International Space Station.

Orbital Sciences Corp. says everything looks good for Wednesday's launch from Virginia's Eastern Shore. An unmanned Antares rocket is scheduled to blast off from NASA's Wallops Island Facility in late morning. It will carry 1,300 pounds of food, clothes and other items as part of this test flight. A Sunday delivery is planned. If all goes well, Orbital Sciences will start launching more Cygnus cargo ships under a $1.9 billion contract with NASA.

California's SpaceX already is shipping goods under a separate billion-plus-dollar contract.

NASA is looking to private U.S. industry to keep the space station stocked. It's also putting seed money into various companies for development of a manned capsule.