NASA Wallops Island Roll Out Antares Rocket - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NASA Wallops Island Roll Out Antares Rocket


WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- All systems were a "go" for the Antares rocket Saturday morning.

The rocket is in place at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility in Accomack County.

"We've never had a rocket this powerful launch in our area," said aviation expert and writer for Universe Today, Ken Kremer.

Antares sat in the design and production stage for more than five years. Now the rocket sits on a launching pad.

Imagine a rocket the size of four school buses. It's the largest rocket to launch from Wallops.

There's over 5,000 kilos of cargo.

"You got to provide fuel," said Kremer. "You got to provide food. You got provide science experiments."

It took Orbital Science, the manufacturing company of the rocket, employees from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. to move the rocket from the nesting point to the launching point.

"This is critical. The space station can not exist, if we can't send people and supplies there," said Kremer. "So this has to succeed. There's really not a choice for it to fail."

Antares was scheduled to blast off back in March, but had a hard time getting off the ground.

"A million things have to go right for a launch," said Wallops Island spokesman Jeremy Egger. "But only one thing has to go wrong.and so what we are going to do is make sure everything is checked out. We're going to make sure we are safe. We're going to make sure everything is certified, before we are ready for launch."

Antares Senior Operation manager Michael Brainard told WBOC, the job market in this area could take off, if this launch is successful.

"About 75 [full time] people are here for this two week period leading up to launch," said Brainard.

So, when can we start counting down?

"Our first rendezvous is our next mission, which is mid-summer," said Brainard.

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