Orbital ATK's new and improved Antares rocket is ready for lift off two years after the company's unfortunate accident. Back in 2014, its older version blew up merely six seconds after launch, taking the space station's supplies with it. Since then, the aerospace corporation has been resupplying the ISS by sending its Cygnus spacecraft to orbit aboard United Launch Alliance's Atlas V. Well, that partnership is over. The brand new rocket is already at NASA's Wallops facility in Virginia and is scheduled for launch on October 16th at 8:03 PM Eastern time.
The team spent the past two years not only figuring out what happened in 2014, but also fitting the Antares with two new engines made by a Russian company. These engines provide the new rocket with a 13 percent increase in thrust. Since that time, Orbital also started using a bigger Cygnus that can carry more cargo to the station. That's what the company is sending to orbit on Sunday. If you're nowhere near Wallops, you can watch the event online through the facility's Ustream channel, starting at 2PM, or through NASA TV, starting at 7PM.
Now that Orbital is done making another Antares that can fly to the ISS, it has set its sights on creating an even more powerful version. The company has begun working on a third stage that can give it enough power to ferry satellites to slightly higher orbits.