OCEAN CITY — With a major rocket launch from NASA’s nearby Wallops Island Flight Facility set for later this week, residents and visitors in the resort area and across the Lower Shore should have a great seat for quite a spectacle.
Nearly two years after the last attempt ended in a fiery explosion on the launch pad, NASA and its private sector partner Orbital ATK’s is scheduled to launch an upgraded Antares 230 rocket on Thursday at 9:13 p.m. from the Wallops Island Flight Facility on the Virginia coast just south of Assateague and Ocean City. The Antares measures about 131 feet tall, or the equivalent of a 13-story building, and depending on a variety of factors, the launch will likely be seen across much of the eastern U.S. from Florida to Canada and as far west as Indiana and Michigan.
With the Wallops Island Flight Facility just about 30 miles south of Ocean City and Worcester County, residents and visitors in the resort area should have perhaps the best view of the spectacle. Because the Antares is scheduled for a night launch, the size and intensity of the viewing area is expected to be enhanced.
The mission is to resupply approximately 5,100 pounds of cargo, including crew supplies and vehicle hardware, for the International Space Station and back-up dates are reported as Oct. 14-19