Report: Orbital Sciences faces risks in resuming space station shipments after 2014 explosion

Industrials Associated Press

A new government report says one of NASA's two commercial suppliers faces an uphill struggle in resuming deliveries to the International Space Station.

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The space agency's inspector general said Thursday that Orbital Sciences Corp. faces significant risks in its effort to recover from last October's launch explosion. Orbital's Antares rocket failed seconds after liftoff from Virginia, destroying the space station goods and damaging the launch complex.

Virginia-based Orbital remains grounded. But it is working to get cargo to the space station as early as December by putting it on another company's rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida. At the same time, the company hopes to resume Antares flights next year with new engines.

According to the report, it may be difficult for Orbital to achieve this in the time proposed.