Wallops Flight Facility


NASA has put off the launch of a sounding rocket at Wallops Flight Facility from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The facilities officials blamed the delay on the recent storm that swept through the area from Hurricane Joaquin.

The mission is aimed at testing new equipment that would make the missions less risky and cheaper.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the flight was to test the Black Branch motor with two stages.

In addition, the paper says the mission will be testing a new fabricating method for the payload.


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority says major repairs to a launch pad that was damaged when a rocket exploded shortly after liftoff last fall have been completed.

An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff from Wallops Island on Oct. 28.

The rocket explosion caused about $15 million in damage to the launch pad, which sits on a NASA facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.


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.


The Wallops Flight Facility launched a Black Brant IX suborbital rocket this morning at around 6:15 a.m.
It carried two space technology demonstration projects from the SOAREX-8 Exo-Brake Flight test NASA’s from the Ames Research Center in California and the Radial Core Heat Spreader from NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio.

Officials said that data from both was received successfully.

The payload reached a height of 206 miles before falling back into the Atlantic Ocean.

None of it will be recovered.

wallops flight facility website

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is holding an open house for the public to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

The event will be held on Saturday. Wallops launched its first rocket on June 27, 1945.

Wallops director Bill Wrobel says in a news release that the facility wants to give the public a first-hand look at its diverse missions.

The scientific balloon lab and the sounding rocket payload facility are among the facilities that will be open.


The Wallops Flight Facility will be carrying out a test of some newly formulated technology that could help in the exploration of space.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Rachel Taylor prepared this report.

Don Rush

Those on the Virginia Eastern Shore could find themselves stranded by water according to a new study on sea level rise of one foot or more.

The survey done with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Transportation found that some areas where there are now roads could be flooded out between 2025 and 2050.

The study found that around 25 percent of the roads along with communities and their facilities could be hit by sea level rise.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 80 percent of the roads affected by the flooding are located in Accomack County.


The Wallops Flight facility is looking at the possibility of landing reusable booster rockets and manned spacecraft.

An environmental study is now underway that could lead to manned space flights coming to Accomack County.

Bruce Underwood, Wallops’ deputy director, told the Salisbury Daily Times that there are no plans at present to land spacecraft at the facility.

But he adds there have been several government agencies and private space companies that have expressed interest.


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.    

Joh Grant / NASA

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA has scheduled a weekend launch of a rocket from its Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA says the Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket will carry experiments developed by undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, the University of Colorado, Northwest Nazarene University, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Nebraska.

The launch is scheduled for Saturday between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

NASA had planned to launch the rocket in March but postponed the launch because of weather.


WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - A rocket carrying student experiments is scheduled to be launched this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA says the experiments were developed by undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, the University of Colorado, Northwest Nazarene University, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Nebraska.

The NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket is scheduled to be launched on Friday between 6:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.


It takes millions of dollars to keep the sea level rise at bay for NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

That’s what Caroline Massey, the Flight Facility assistant director of management operations told the Accomack County Board of Supervisors this week.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that an estimated $9 million has been sunk into protecting key structures against sea level rise.

Some estimates put that rise at 6 feet or higher.

Massey noted that the facility suffered $3.8 million in damage after Hurricane Irene.


ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - Three suborbital rockets were launched from NASA's facility on Wallops Island as part of a ballistic missile defense test.
The Missile Defense Agency says Tuesday's successful flight test was the first to assess the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system's ability to simulate engagements of raids consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets.

Wallops Flight Facility website

The launch of three Terrier-Oreole suborbital rockets that had been scheduled for today from NASA’s flight facility on Wallops Island has been postponed.

The new launch day is tomorrow February 24th between 12.30 and 4:30 a.m.

If that does not work out the next launch dates would be February 25th and February 27th.

There will be no real-time launch status available and not public viewing at the request of the Defense Department.

The Visitors’ Center will also be closed for the launch.


There’s been a name change for a group supporting the development of the Wallops Flight Facility.

The business group is now called the Wallops Island Regional Alliances.

That’s a shift from the Eastern Shore Defense Alliance.

Chairman of the organization Peter Bale told the Salisbury Daily Times that the group wanted to move away from the emphasis on the military applications.

The flight facility has placed more emphasis on private commercial rocket launches.


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.


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.


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.

Wallops Flight Facility website

Clear skies are expected for tonight’s launch from the NASA Wallops flight Facility.

The Antares rocket is set to lift off at 6:45 p.m. – the first night time launch of this kind of rocket at the Virginia Eastern Shore facility.

The Orbital CRS-3 cargo resupply mission is expected to dock with the International Space Station on the morning of November 2nd.

NASA logo

WALLOPS ISAND, Va. (AP) - The launch of a Department of Defense rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility has been rescheduled.

The Terrier-Lynx suborbital rocket was scheduled to be launched Saturday. NASA says in a news release that the new launch date is Aug. 23.

NASA didn't say why the launch was postponed.

The space agency says there will be no real-time launch status updates at the request of the Department of Defense. The NASA Visitors Center at Wallops won't be open for viewing the launch. The launch also won't be shown live on the Internet.


The Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is restoring the shoreline lost to Hurricane Sandy which gouged out 1.2 million cubic yards of sand. 

Paul Bull, the deputy chief for facilities at Wallops Island, told WBOC that the beach keeps water away from the NASA launch site and protects $1.2 billion of state and federal assets.

The restoration is being aided by federal Sandy relief money to help NASA and its partners with the $11.4 million project.

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.


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.


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.

Wallops Flight Facility Website

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA says it will investigate an anomaly detected during the launch of a sounding rocket that prematurely ended its flight.

The Terrier-Improved Malemute ended its flight about 19 seconds after it was launched at 4:36 a.m. Wednesday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

A flight anomaly with the rocket's second stage motor was detected by range controllers.