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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Seen a rocket lately?

Those who live in the vicinity of Florida’s eastern coast still have a fairly routine ability to watch rockets launch despite the conclusion of the space shuttle program, as Kennedy Space Center continues to launch a variety of unmanned spacecraft. Those of us further north rarely see anything more interesting than commercial airliners fly by. That could all change later this week.

Although SpaceX has received most of the commercial space flight attention lately for its successful unmanned mission to the ISS (International Space Station), they are far from the only players in the commercial launch game. And on April 17, dramatic proof of that may come from Virginia.

Orbital's Antares rocket is raised into place on its coastal Virginia launch pad.

Sitting right now on a launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in coastal Virginia is Orbital’s Antares rocket. The vehicle is poised for the A-ONE mission, a test flight into space to be followed up by a flight to the ISS later this year. Those along the East Coast may - skies willing - be able to see the Antares rocket take flight in just a few days. Here’s a helpful viewing map.

Where to look to potentially witness Antares' ascent into space.

For more on the flight’s scheduling and Orbital’s efforts to supply the ISS, please visit: