Launch will be seen buy much of East Coast Washington D.C. area.
Orbital Sciences has been preparing to make the inaugural launch from the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A Wallops launch complex in Wallops Island Va.The first fully-integrated Antares rocket rolled out to the launch pad on April 6th. Orbital is targeting an April 17 target launch date for the rocket test flight. A planned liftoff of 5 p.m. EDT. This launch will allow areas in the northeastern U.S. such as Washington D.C, Baltimore, and Atlantic City to see launches of medium sized rockets for the first time. Later this year NASA also intends to launch a Satellite to the Moon from Wallops.
Along with the Spacex corporation launches to IIS, the new launch complex will be another step in returning the United States capability to launch rockets and payloads without the aid of countries like Russia. Since the Space Shuttle was retired the U.S. has had limited capability to send payloads into orbit to places like the Space Station.
Orbital Antares rocket testing is under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.