International Space Station

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 Antares rocket resupply mission to the International Space Station is set to take place tonight after its Sunday launch was scrubbed.

The rocket is expected to take off at 7:40 p.m.

WBOC reports that NASA officials say that a ground support equipment cable did not check out during the pre-launch count down.

The rocket had been scheduled to get off the ground last week but was delayed by Hurricane Matthew.

The rocket’s Cygnus Space Craft will be carrying 5-thousand pounds of supplies to the International Space Station.

nasa.gov

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.

NASA

Wallops Island Flight Facility officials will make another attempt at liftoff for the Orbital ATK’s rocket in late September.

Its launch has been delayed twice now having been scheduled for Spring and then the Summer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the program has been delayed ever since the October explosion in 2014 on the Wallops launch pad.

That mission was to carry supplies to the International Space Station in the Cygnus spacecraft.

The Daily Times reports that engineers are still looking into the outcome a test fire back in May.

nasa.gov

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - NASA says the commercial space company Orbital ATK will send a resupply rocket to the International Space Station around Aug. 22. The launch will be the firm's first from Virginia since a 2014 mishap that destroyed a NASA payload and damaged Virginia's state-owned launch pad.

NASA announced the tentative launch date Thursday, saying the unmanned spacecraft will carry supplies and vehicle hardware to the space station's crew.

NASA

Wallops Flight Facility technicians have successfully completed the test firing of the engines of the new Antares rocket.

The test on the launch pad lasted around 30 second at 100% capacity.

WBOC reports that the new rockets are Russian made.

Designers decided to use them after the launch failure that led to an explosion on lift off for a mission that was to resupply the International Space Station.

The launch pad has been undergoing repairs for the last year and a-half at a cost of $15 million.

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.

nasa.tv

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.

phys.org

The Wallops Flight facility has cancelled the launch of a sounding rocket today.

But it has rescheduled it for tomorrow.

The recent stormy weather from Hurricane Joaquin forced the NASA facility to delay the launch.

The suborbital Black Brant IX sounding rocket will take off between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. tomorrow night.

And it should be visible to residents in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the launch will be testing the Black Brant motor in a two stage rocket.

NASA TV

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.

nasa.gov

The Salisbury-based Harkins Contracting Incorporated has been tapped to build a new Mission Launch Command Center at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

It will spread out over 14-thousand square feet becoming the central location for rocket control, their payloads and other support systems.

NASA TV

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Orbital Sciences has agreed to insure a state-owned launch pad in Virginia following a rocket explosion that damaged the Wallops Island facility.

An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff on Oct. 28. Orbital has previously said preliminary investigation results point to a failure in one of the two main engines involved in the first stage of launch. The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority owns and operates the launch pad and says severe damage was spared, but repairs are necessary.

NASA tv

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.    

nasa.tv

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.

nasa.tv

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority says repairs to its launch pad on Wallops Island will likely take a year.

nasa.tv

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.

nasa tv

NEW YORK (AP) - Orbital Sciences says it will likely stop using the type of engines that were employed when its unmanned Antares commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff last week.

The company says its investigation of the crash is continuing, but preliminary results point to a failure in one of its two main engines. Orbital says it still plans to fulfill its contract with NASA to deliver all remaining cargo to the Space Station by the end of 2016.

nasa.gov

It’s unlikely that the boat which delayed the launch of the Antares rocket launch at the Wallops Flight Facility last Monday will be fined.

Just before the launch the mission was scrubbed because a 26-foot sail boat was inside the safety zone.

Orbital Sciences said that it is not possible to say how much the delay cost but the company said, “It would not have been cheap.”

The rocket was carrying Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft that carried 5-thousand pounds of supplies for the International Space Station.

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.

Assessment

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 Flight Facility Website

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A space station delivery mission was called off Monday, just hours after the orbiting lab had to sidestep a piece of treacherous junk.

Orbital Sciences Corp. got to within the 10-minute mark for the Virginia launch of its unmanned Cygnus capsule. But a sailboat ended up in the restricted danger zone, and controllers halted the evening countdown.

The Virginia-based company will try again Tuesday evening.

NASA

Hurricane Gonzalo coming up from the south could affect the October 27th launch of the Orb-3 CRS Mission rocket launch if the storm heads north into the Atlantic.

NASA officials at Wallops Flight Facility say that before giving the go ahead to the launch a team must first assess the situation from their weather station in Bermuda.

Steve Kremer, Chief of the Wallops Range and Mission Management office, told WBOC that Wallops relies on the Bermuda tracking systems to communicate with the Antares rocket during the flight as well as to ensure public safety.  

nasa.gov

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.

 

nasa.gov

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - NASA has chosen a University of Maryland proposal for a new instrument to observe changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station.

NASA announced Wednesday that the laser-based system will observe the structure of forest canopy. The instrument will be completed in 2019 and will not cost more than $94 million. NASA says sensors will give scientists new ways to see how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate or land use change.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A fresh delivery is on its way to the International Space Station.

Orbital Sciences Corp. launched a cargo ship Sunday from the Virginia coast. Daylight limited visibility, but sky-gazers from North Carolina to New Jersey still had a shot at seeing the rising rocket.

nasa.gov

The International Space Station resupply mission has been delayed another day.

It’s now scheduled for Sunday July 13th cancelling the Saturday launch.

Severe weather in the area of the Wallops Flight Facility has repeatedly hampered the launch of the Cygnus spacecraft.

The vehicle will carry around 33-hundred pounds of supplies including science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

nasa.gov

There will be no rocket launch tomorrow at Wallops Flight Facility.

Orbital Sciences has rescheduled the flight for its Cygnus space craft for Saturday because of bad weather.

NASA spokesmen Keith Koehler says the mission to the International Space Station will take place around 1 p.m. on Saturday.        

The Cygnus holds around 33-hundred pounds of supplies for the station.

This includes science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware.

Upon launch the Antares rocket is expected to be seen by much of the East Coast.

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