Touring the Damage at Wallops Island - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Touring the Damage at Wallops Island

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - A month and a half after an Antares rocket exploded moments after liftoff, we get the first up close look at the damage caused by the mishap.

The launch pad, where the rocket sits prior to liftoff, sustained the normal wear and tear of a launch.  Around the pad is where the damage can be seen.  A nearby building suffered major damage, scorching can be found on the water tower and light poles, and a massive crater was left in the ground where the rocket fell back to earth.

Senator Tim Kaine helped secure $20 million in the federal budget passed Saturday night to help cover the costs of repairs.  Kaine toured the damage on Wednesday afternoon.

"There's obviously the cost of repair.  The missions that are flown from here are very necessary and we are very happy that we were able to get 20 million dollars into the omnibus budget that we sent to the President late Saturday night," Kaine said.

The mission was to deliver the Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft to the International Space Station.  Senator Kaine said it was important federal dollars be used in the recovery process.

"The mission that is being done, serving the space station, and other missions here definitely have a public component.  We fully expect the Commonwealth of Virginia to chip in as well," said Kaine.

With the money secured, the repairs have already begun on Wallops Island.

"As soon as we get things out we will start to come back in with new piping and the fleening and make this ready to go again so by this time again next year, you'll all be out here and see a hot fire," said Dale Nash, the Executive Director of the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority.

The next Antares launch is tentatively scheduled for 2016 on Wallops Island.

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