Space

Successful Launch for Antares

The private sector rocket reaches orbit

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A new rocket built as a commercial venture by Orbital Sciences Corp. blasted off from the Virginia coast and streaked into space Sunday, chalking up a picture-perfect maiden flight that sets the stage for space station cargo delivery missions starting later this year.

"It's certainly was an amazing achievement for Orbital today, a great day for NASA, and another historic day for commercial spaceflight in America," said Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of the space agency's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program.

"The flight today was just beautiful, and it looks like all the objectives that we established for the flight today were 100 percent met."