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Bad Weather May Delay Launch of Rocket On East Coast Tonight

  • The launch of a Minotaur rocket from Wallops Island, VA in December of 2006. Viewers of tonight's launch if the weather holds may see a similar sight along the mid atlantic states.

    The launch of a Minotaur rocket from Wallops Island, VA in December of 2006. Viewers of tonight's launch if the weather holds may see a similar sight along the mid atlantic states.

    UPDATE

    After being scrubbed last night due to bad weather, ORS-1 will resume a 3 hour launch window again beginning at 8:30EDT tonight. The weather tonight is looking much better than last night, so it seems tonight’s launch will be a go.


    There is a 70% chance of scattered thunderstorms tonight that may delay the launch of a rocket carrying a military satellite from a spaceport on Wallops Island, VA tonight at 8:28 EDT.



    The contrails and exhaust from the launch will be visible from southern New York all the way to North Carolina along the east coast depending on cloud cover tonight.

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    There will be a three-hour launch window that closes at 11:28 p.m. EDT (0328 GMT Wednesday). If the weather is good, people along the mid atlantic coast will likely see some part of the launch at 8:28 p.m. EDT around sunset.

    The satellite being launched is called ORS-1, a spacecaft considered an “important step to demonstrate the capability to meet emerging and persistent war-fighter needs,” NASA officials said in a statement. It will support the military’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance needs by hosting an innovative sensor system.

    This map shows the radius where people will see some part of the ORS-1 rocket after launch.

    This map shows the radius where people will see some part of the ORS-1 rocket after launch.

    There is a potential 1,000 mile radius around the launch site on Virginia’s eastern shore where people may see the huge exhaust trail from the rocket.

    People living on the west coast commonly see contrails from rockets launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, but tonight’s launch will surprise many people along the east coast where such launches are rare.

    Tonights launch will be the 4th attempt to put a rocket into space in the past 4 and 1/2 years from Wallops Island.

    To best see the launch, viewers should look towards Viriginia’s east coast along the horizon based on their location.

    You can watch a live webcast of tonight’s launch here and listen to the launch here on radio station WCTG, 96.5 FM.

    Go here for live status updates of the launch.


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