Space station launches from Virginia
Today's Cygnus launch marked one unique first for NASA: the first launch to the space station from Virginia's Eastern Shore.
The Antares rocket carrying Cygnus lifted off from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a commercial spaceport operated by Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. NASA officials were expecting nearly 1,000 people at the Wallops facility to watch the launch, with thousands more expected to see the launch from nearby viewing sites and along the U.S. East Coast.
Today's launch comes on the heels of Orbital's spectacular night launch of NASA's LADEE moon probeon Sept. 6, which amazed spectators as far north as New York City and even Maine. The recent launches are drawing larger crowds to the area, spaceport officials said.
"I see it as nothing but positive," spaceport director Dale Nash told reporters Tuesday. "People complain about the traffic, but that's okay."
SPACE.com is providing complete coverage of Orbital's first Cygnus test flight to the International Space Station. Visit SPACE.com for updates on the mission. SPACE.com partner Spaceflight now is also offering updates via its Cygnus Mission Status Center, which will also include a launch webcast.
Editor's Note: If you snapped a photo of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket streaking toward space, or any other amazing sky view that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send photos, comments and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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