Update 1/9/14 – Read Antares Launch to ISS from Wallops Successful
Hello fellow rocket launch watchers! Get out your binoculars you will get another chance to see the a launch from Wallops Island Va. Originally scheduled for December 19th 2012 the launch of an Antares rocket with its Cygnus cargo craft was delayed due to a coolant problem on the International Space Station. Astronauts needed to perform an EVA to make repairs so the launch was postponed until that work was complete.
The first Orbital commercial resupply mission to the space station is now scheduled for no earlier than Wednesday, Jan. 8 due to the forecast of cold temperatures for Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the launch site. The forecast for Wednesday also calls for cold temperatures, but the station program and Orbital will revisit the weather forecast at the beginning of the week. The main concern with the weather is the cold temperatures coupled with likely precipitation. Orbital says the Antares rocket has a lower limit temperature constraint of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The launch time for Wednesday, Jan. 8 is 1:32:33 p.m. EST. NASA TV coverage of launch will begin at 1 p.m. EST. A launch on Wednesday will result in a grapple of Cygnus by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the station on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 6:02 a.m. EST.
The last launch from Wallops on November 19th was excellent and easily viewed from most of the north-eastern United States. The rocket was easy to pick out from other air traffic and stars as it was a bright orange and moved rapidly UP! Depending on how far you are you will also see the rocket plume or tail. The tail was easy to spot as far away as Lancaster Pa. The Lunar phase on 8 January 2013 Tuesday is Waning Crescent. so we should have nice dark skies making viewing easier.
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NASA TV coverage will begin at 5 a.m. EST. Coverage of the installation of Cygnus on the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 7 a.m. EST.
On the evening of November 19th 2013 much of the east coast of the United States was able to see the last launch of an Orbital Sciences rocket supporting the U.S. Air Force ORS-3 mission. Read the Viewing report for that launch.
Read: LADEE MOON Launch Will be Seen as Far Away as Maine
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