An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket seen as it is rolled out to launch Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on January 5, 2014 in advance of a planned January 8 launch, Wallops Island, Virginia. (AFP PHOTO / NASA / Bill INGALLS)
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An unmanned Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket blasted off on Thursday to deliver the first of eight cargo ships to the International Space Station for NASA.Orbital Sciences is one of two firms hired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to fly cargo to the station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations, following the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011 ."It does give us a chance to think long-term, be innovative ... maybe invest in some improvements in how we can do this to make it more cost-effective and efficient," Culbertson said.In addition to their station resupply contracts, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX previously received a combined $686 million from NASA to help develop their rockets, capsules and launch sites.
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