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NASA rocket to launch from Wallops space facility, may be seen in many eastern states appeared on www.nj.com by Len Melisurgo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com.
The green comet isn’t the only object that will be streaking across the night sky this month. A rocket is scheduled to blast off from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia Tuesday night, Jan. 24, as long as the weather conditions are good.
UPDATE: The launch had been scheduled for Monday night, but was pushed back a day on Sunday due to rain and strong winds.
Officials from the NASA space agency say the 59-foot-tall Rocket Lab Electron rocket “will appear like a bright, fast-moving star in the sky,” and it should be visible from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and other eastern states when it shoots into the atmosphere as long as clouds don’t block the views.
The rocket is scheduled to lift off between 6 and 8 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, and it will be the Rocket Lab aerospace company’s first launch from the Wallops facility, NASA said in a Facebook post that announced the launch date.
“The mission, named ‘Virginia is for Launch Lovers,’ will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for HawkEye 360,” NASA said in a news release.
Among the best viewing locations are on “Chincoteague Island, including Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands,” NASA noted. “The Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Atlantic beaches also provide good viewing locations.”
NASA’s Wallops Visitor Center will be open to the public for the January launch. The center is scheduled to open at 4 p.m. on the day of the launch.
For people too far away or blocked by clouds, a live webcast of the rocket launch will be available at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream starting about 40 minutes before liftoff.
Other NASA Wallops launch dates
If you miss the January launch, mark your calendar for two other rocket launches that are scheduled at the Wallops facility this winter. The scheduled dates are:
- Thursday, Feb. 9: Two Improved-Orion sounding rockets will be launched at night. The specific time has not yet been announced.
- Monday, March 13: A Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket will be launched during the day. The specific time has not yet been announced.
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Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.
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