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Rogue Aircraft Cancels Orbital ATK Rocket Launch in Virginia

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is seen on launch Pad-0A, Friday, November 10, 2017 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. BILL INGALLS AFP/Getty Images

A rogue aircraft canceled the launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station on Saturday.

The rocket, which was carrying a Cygnus cargo ship, was seconds from launching when a flight controller suddenly halted operations at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Va., CBS News reports. “LC, LC, we are red,” he said, according to CBS. “We have an aircraft in the hazard area.” The launch conductor then aborted the mission.

Orbital ATK tweeted after the attempt that the launch was canceled due to a small aircraft flying at 500 feet, roughy six miles off shore. It’s not specified whether the aircraft was commercial or private.

Despite the last-second cancellation, however, “#Cygnus spacecraft remains healthy and ready for tomorrow’s 7:14 a.m. EST launch,” Orbital ATK tweeted.