Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It IS Rocket Science

Those old jokes about something “not being rocket science” do not apply here on the VA eastern shore.


Because at the Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore this past Sunday afternoon, Orbital Sciences Corporation, a VA-based U.S. commercial partner of NASA launched an Antares rocket into space carrying a “mass simulated payload.”

As we watched from our back patio around 5 pm,the rocket headed to orbit. Perfect weather conditions allowed viewing by spectators not only on the Eastern Shore, but other parts of the East Coast.

These photos were taken with a digital camera with a limited 12X digital zoom; Wallops Island is a 45-minute drive from our home.


It was a perfect countdown and launch as the Antares rocket roared off the launch pad. Before the engines were throttled down in Stage 1, the vehicle was traveling at more than 7,000 mph. The engine rumble was clearly heard.

The successful launch followed 2 earlier postponements last week.  The original Wednesday launch date was scrubbed when a connecting cable came loose. The rescheduled Saturday launch was cancelled due to unfavorable wind conditions.IMG_9948The launch of the Antares rocket and payload from the Wallops flight facility is part of the effort to rely on U.S. companies for future launches of supplies and personnel to the International Space Station.

Orbital has a $1.9 billion with NASA to send eight resupply missions to the Space Station. The next Antares launch will be the first demo flight of the unmanned Cygnus spacecraft, set to bring a test payload to the ISS. That mission is set to take place in late June or early July.

YES, there is rocket science on the VA eastern shore.


DeniseinVA said...

We passed by Wallop on our trip a few weeks ago, and marveled at the huge satellite dishes. Must have been very exciting to watch the launch.

Doris said...

Add that to your list of why someone should choose your house as theirs =) How exciting!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I would have loved to see that :-) We do actually have a space center here in Sweden too, they send up smaller satellites but it's almost in the most northern parts so I can never see any rockets going upwards.

Nice to be able to comment again :-)

Have a great day!

Sandra said...

you and your camera did a great job with it that far off,

Daisy said...

That must have been exciting to see! Very cool!

Ludwig Keck said...

Glad to learn that you are space fans too!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

How neat to get to see that! Great shots.

Elaine said...

Interesting--not what I would have expected at the Virginia shore!

A Quiet Corner said...

Another good selling point!...great pix...:)JP

Rebecca said...

Our son had a job on the Space Shuttle and the Mars lander. He called me to tell me he WAS a rocket scientist and it WAS rocket science!

Montanagirl said...

Wow, how exciting was that? Pretty cool.

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