Wallops Island Neighbors Invited to Learn More about Clean Up - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wallops Island Neighbors Invited to Learn More about Clean Up

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - It has been about a month and a half since the Antares rocket exploded shortly after liftoff on Wallops Island and the clean up, including environmental remediation, is still ongoing.  Monday night, locals around Wallops were invited to the visitor's center to learn more about the cleanup process and the planning for future launches.

Following the explosion, Wallops officials said the environmental impact was contained to the the crater left by the launch pad from the falling rocket.  So may say it is fortune things were not worse.  However, luck plays no part in space flight.  It was extensive planning to ensure that even if things went wrong, the damage would not be widespread.

""We continue to test the water [in the crater] and what we are seeing is the levels of indicators of the fuel are coming down," said Jeremy Eggers, the Chief of Public Affairs at Wallops.

Orbital Sciences, the company that designed and built that Antares rocket, believes it will be at least a year before another Antares launch from that particular launch pad.  But there will be more launches there and NASA officials hope to ease some of the concerns neighbors around Wallops Island may have.

"We do a lot of analysis ahead of time to come up with what those hazard areas are and its completely dependent on that rocket and the conditions of that mission," said Sarah Daugherty, the Test Director for NASA.

The public was invited to come and learn all of this information firsthand from 6 to 8 pm on Monday night at the Wallops Flight Facility Visitor's Center.  For those who could not attend, the latest update on the environmental cleanup process can be found here: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/AntaresEnvFactsheetDec8.pdf

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