It prompted the postponement of the launch, which will now take place on Sunday morning.
With just one minute left for the button to be pressed for lift-off, all the flight controllers were abruptly stopped at 7:36 a.m. EST.
A NASA rocket launch was delayed on Saturday morning thanks to an unexpected visitor: a stray plane.
The culprit, a small personal aircraft that entered the restricted airspace was within a 6 miles (10 kilometers) offshore flying at an altitude of about 500 feet, which could have been risky for the lift-off. "We are now de-tanking and will be ready to go (Sunday) morning".
First in 2017 mission of Antares rocket seemed to reaching successful final, but in the last minute before igniting its two powerful RD-181 engines, mission control center made a decision to abort mission and scrub launch.
In a later tweet, it was confirmed that the spacecraft remains "healthy" and is all set to launch.
To study microgravity's effect on bacterial antibiotic resistance, scientists are set to send E. coli, a common bacterial pathogen linked to urinary tract infections and foodborne illnesses, to the International Space Station (ISS).
If the October 2016 Antares launch at Wallops marked a litany of firsts, Saturday-turned-Sunday's is checking off a series of seconds: the second use for Orbital's RD-181 engines, the second flight since the program's resurrection in the wake of an October 2014 rocket explosion, the company's second launch of the year (the other taking place at Florida's Cape Canaveral).
In September, competitor Northrup Grumman announced plans to buy Orbital for $7.8 billion.