Antares Rocket

Wallops Flight Facility website

The Wallops Flight facility resumed its Antares rocket launches to resupply the International Space Station after a two year delay. In October of 2014 another Antares rocket carrying supplies in the Cygnus spacecraft exploded on the launch pad destroying the payload, the rocket and the launch pad. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush looks at this week's launch and the brightening prospects for the Eastern Shore facility.

Wallops Flight Facility website

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - One of NASA's main delivery companies has launched its first space station shipment from Virginia in two years.

Orbital ATK's unmanned Antares rocket blasted off Monday night from Wallops Island. It was the first flight of an Antares since a launch explosion on Oct. 28, 2014, that wrecked the pad and destroyed everything on the space station supply run. For the long-awaited comeback, the pad underwent a $15 million face-lift, and the rocket got new Russian engines.

The launch provided a show for sky gazers along much of the East Coast.

Wallops Flight Facility

The launch of the Antares rocket at Wallops Flight facility has been delayed again.

This time it is set for Sunday at 8:03 p.m.

This is the second time that the launch has been postponed this week.

This time it is because of Tropical Storm Nicole which is expected to strike Bermuda today.

The rocket will carry 5-thousand pounds of supplies to the International Space Station in the Cygnus spacecraft.

This would be the first launch of the Antares rocket since it exploded at Wallops two years ago.

There’s been a delay for the launch of the Antares rocket that will send supplies to the International Space Station.

The Wallops Flight Facility says it is now scheduled for this Friday October 14th – one day later than originally planned.

It’s expected to lift off at 8:51 p.m.

WBOC reports there was a minor vehicle processing issue over the last few days along with the impact of Hurricane Matthew.

Officials say the scheduled launch is still tentative pending the pre-testing procedures and weather conditions.

Wallops Flight Facility

On October 13th the Wallops Flight facility is set to launch another resupply mission to the International Space Station.  

NASA and Wallops officials say they have successfully completed their pre-launch review of the Anteres rocket that will take the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit.

WBOC reports that people on the East Coast should be able to see the rocket when it is set to lift off at 9:13 p.m. depending on weather conditions.

This will be the first resupply mission at Wallops since a rocket exploded on the launch pad in October of 2014.

Wallops Flight Facility

The new upgraded Antares rocket is set to be unveiled at Wallops Flight Facility launch pad this week.

If the hot-fire testing of the rocket works out Orbital ATK expects a launch sometime in July.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that this would be the first liftoff from Wallops since a resupply mission to the International Space Station exploded on the launch pad almost two years ago.

The paper reports that the explosion caused $15 million in damage to the launch pad.

NASA has contracted with both Orbital and SpaceX to bring supplies to the space station.

official photos

Senator Barbara Mikulski marked a final chapter in her political career yesterday by a visit to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility for which the Maryland Democrat has gotten more than $160 million in federal funds during the Obama years.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she ended her address with a flourish similar to that of President Obama at last weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Urging that the force be with them Maryland’s senior senator dropped the microphone and put two fingers to her lips to say good-bye.

Two Antares Rockets are expected to make trips to the International Space Station in 2016 from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The program has been on hold since a rocket exploded on the launch pad at the Wallops Flight Facility 15 months ago.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they will go up sometime this summer and fall.

Meanwhile, there will be another series of seven sounding rockets that will take off starting in February.

In addition, there will also be around a dozen balloon launches.

nasa flickr

There are new NASA photos of the Antares rocket explosion at the Wallops Flight Facility last October.

They posted them on their Flickr account but there is no word on why they have been posted a year after the explosion.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the images were unveiled just shortly after the results of an investigation into the explosion which did not find a single cause.

NASA officials say they have not determined exactly why a rocket exploded a year ago at the Wallops Flight Facility.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the possibilities range from the bearings in a pump not being able to take the pressure and a defect in the turbine housing to foreign debris in the pump itself.

The Antares rocket was loaded with thousands of pounds of food and supplies bound for the International Space Station before it exploded 15 seconds after it was launched.


There’s a new report by NASA’s Inspector General’s office on the Antares rocket project to send Orbital Science’s resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the study found the first two launches for December and March from Cape Canaveral will be combined with another company’s payload.

The paper says that the report says it is not clear how they will work together.

In addition, the Daily Times reports that two launches at Wallops in 2016 will carry more supplies to eliminate one of the planned flights.


The environmental impact report on the explosion of the Antares rocket at Wallops Flight Facility is in.

And, it found that some of the most serious occurred inside the 50 foot crater that saw ground water seep into the hole created by the rocket as it exploded 15 seconds after liftoff.

Around the site there was contamination from perchlorate which is used to make the rocket fuel.

That could pose a risk to the workers.

There were two recommendations.

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Despite a massive explosion in October, authorities say a state-owned launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility should be repaired and ready for testing late next year.

Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff on Oct. 28. The rocket was carrying a cargo ship was bound for the International Space Station.

The last minute spending bill approved by the House of Representatives last night included $20 million in funding to help in the repair of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility that was damaged during the explosion of an Antares rocket just after liftoff this year.

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kane announced that the money is contained in the bill that will now be considered by the Senate.

The two Virginia Democrats calls the Wallops Facility a key asset to the state that they expect will continue to play a role in NASA and space exploration.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials plan to re-examine a spaceport deal with Orbital Sciences Corp. following a rocket explosion that damaged a state-owned launch pad.

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne Jr. tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration may seek to renegotiate the deal.

McAuliffe also has asked U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine to look for federal funds to help pay for repairs.

official photo

Reaction from elected officials to the rocket explosion at Wallops Island was one of sadness but also support for the private space venture.

Maryland’s Senior Senator Barbara Mikulski said that despite the disaster she remains a strong supporter of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.

She said she was thankful that no one was hurt this week and that the explosion reminds us that rocketry is still hard.

The Antares rocket was carrying 5-thousand pounds of cargo to resupply the International Space Station.

nasa tv

Now begins the search for answers to the explosion that destroyed the Antares rocket on Tuesday that was to carry supplies to the International Space Station.

Officials say they have begun an initial assessment of the damage and in the weeks ahead they will move forward with restoring the space launch capabilities.

Keith Kohler, a spokesman for the Wallops Flight Facility, he does not expect the disaster to affect upcoming sounding rocket launches which are scheduled for the coming months.


nasa tv

An Antares rocket exploded just seconds after liftoff from the Walllops Flight Facility late yesterday destroying the Cygnus cargo vessel carrying to 5-thousand pounds of supplies to the international space station.

The company will put together an investigative board to find out what caused the unmanned rocket to explode.

Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s Executive Vice President, told a news conference last night that it is too early to tell what exactly happened.

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA has launched a rocket for the Department of Defense from its Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

The space agency says the Terrier-Lynx suborbital rocket was launched at 12:27 a.m. Sunday.

The next scheduled launch from Wallops will be Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket on Oct. 24. NASA says the rocket will carry Orbital's Cyngus cargo carrier to the International Space Station.

The launch is expected to be visible to Mid-Atlantic residents.

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft left the International Space Station this morning at 6: 40 a.m.

It delivered around 33-hundred pounds of supplies and experiments after launching from Wallops Flight Facility on July 13 aboard an Orbital Sciences Antares.

Around half the cargo was food for the space station crew, while the rest consisted of hardware, spare parts and scientific experiments.

The spacecraft should re-enter the atmosphere on August 17th and burn up over the Pacific Ocean. Orbital’s next cargo mission to the space station is set for this October.



The Antares rocket launch from the Wallops Island Flight facility was postponed yesterday for at least a week.

The reason: An Aerojet Rocketdyne engine for future use failed in testing.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation said that next launch window will be no earlier than June 17th.

It would be the second launch of eight planned commercial cargo flights to the International Space Station.

In the days ahead scientists will be looking at what caused the test failure of the rocket engine.

Wallops Flight Facility

The Wallops Island flight facility is set for another rocket launch.

Tomorrow an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is expected to take the Cygnus spacecraft on its first mission to the International Space Station.

The 133-foot-tall, two-stage Antares rocket will be launched at 10-50 a.m. tomorrow with a 15-minute window.

It had originally been set for lift off today but was postponed because of bad weather.

Wallops Flight Facility website

The stage is set for a mid-September launch of an Antares rocket that will supply the International Space Station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The mission is the major goal in the agreement between Orbital Sciences and NASA.

The company has a contract for eight resupply missions under the Commercial Resupply Service program.

Wallops Island officials say that the two stages of the Antares rocket have been joined and are going through final testing.