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All systems are now go for the first launch of Antares at 5 pm (Eastern).
We have liftoff. All is nominal. The first stage has shut down and separated after operating perfectly. The fairings protecting the dummy payload have separated perfectly, which for Orbital is a big deal, as they have had problems with fairing shrouds on previous launches with other rockets.
The second stage engine has ignited, as planned. All is nominal, as the launch director keeps saying.
The second stage engine has shut down, as planned. Antares is in orbit. After a 90 second pause the dummy payload has separated, as planned.
A perfect launch. The United States now has two companies capable of putting cargo and payloads into orbit at reasonable prices. The competition continues to heat up.