Space station launch set in Virginia, 2 years after blast

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is raised into the vertical position on launch Pad-0A, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s sixth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver over 5,100 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Space company Orbital ATK is returning to Virginia to send a load of supplies to the International Space Station, two years after a launch explosion.

A planned nighttime launch from Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore this weekend will be visible along parts of the East Coast if skies are clear. Liftoff is scheduled for 8:03 p.m. Sunday.

The mission is to put the state-owned launch pad back into business. It’s been idle since the 2014 rocket explosion that caused about $15 million in damage.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on an island that NASA uses to launch small research rockets. Most of those launches are suborbital, and they’ve continued.