Accomack Locals Excited, Not Concerned, Over Future Launches - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Accomack Locals Excited, Not Concerned, Over Future Launches

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ATLANTIC, Va. - The impact of the Antares rocket explosion back in October spread beyond the launch pad.  Debris scattered miles away and there were numerous reports of broken windows in near-by towns.  But despite all of that, neighbors WBOC spoke with say that's all a part of the rocket business and they are excited about future launches.

The window at Wolff's Sandwich Shoppe in Atlantic was broken by the rocket blast.  Owner Ron Wolff said it was certainly not something he enjoyed dealing with but it comes with the territory.

"It was shock at first and probably a few words I probably can't say on air.  But it is part of the rocket business.  It happened Tuesday, Thursday folks from Orbital were out and looked at the window and said go ahead and get it fixed," Wolff said.


NASA officials said the mishap like the explosion can result in nearby broken windows.  It is a phenomenon called distance focusing over pressure and it is something NASA scientists calculate very carefully.


"It's just such that it cracks just enough to fall out of its frame.  It's not projectile glass or that sort of thing.  If that would have been the case, or we would have gotten numbers like that in our calculations, we certainly would have held the launch and tried a different day," said Sarah Daugherty, NASA's Test Director.


Despite the broken windows, or even the debris that was found as far away as Chincoteague, it is difficult to find someone in Accomack County unenthusiastic about future launches at Wallops.


"It's like driving a car, you know, you might never have a fatal accident but the probability of you have a fender bender are pretty good.  This is just the rocket business and things happen and you move forward," Wolff said.


Orbital Sciences has 2016 slated as the time frame or the next Antares launch on Wallops Island but if many in Accomack County had their way, 2016 would be pushed up to next week.

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