Orbital ATK Delays Antares Rocket Launch 24 Hours Due to Glitch
The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, stands tall on the launchpad as the sun rises behind it on Sunday (Oct. 16) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — The long-awaited launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station today has been delayed until Monday, a 24-hour slip, due to a glitch with ground support equipment, NASA officials said Sunday (Oct. 16).

Antares is now scheduled to launch Monday (Oct. 17) at 7:40 p.m. EDT (2340 GMT) from Pad-0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility here. 

"Today's launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket is postponed  24 hours due to a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch check out," Keith Koehler, a NASA communications officer at Wallops Flight Facility, wrote in a statement. "We have spares on hand, and rework procedures are in process. The Antares and Cygnus teams are not currently working any technical issues with the rocket or the spacecraft." [Viewing GuideHow to See the Nighttime Antares Rocket Launch]

The delay is the latest in a series slips for the Orbital Atk mission, called OA-5, which was initially slated to launch this summer. OA-5 has been a highly anticipated return-to-flight mission for Orbital ATK after the last Antares launch in 2014 ended in an explosion on the launchpad. Monday's launch will carry 5,100 lbs (2,300 kg) of cargo, science equipment and crew supplies to the International Space Station.

Millions of people along the U.S. East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic states will be able to watch the rocket as it soars into space. Visibility is dependent on local weather conditions, but the nighttime launch window will help make the launch more easily visible against the dark evening sky. 

Viewers outside the visible zones can watch the launch in a live webcast at Space.com or tune in to NASA Television. Live coverage will commence around 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.