Space enthusiasts will get an eyeful Wednesday afternoon when an untested commercial rocket is launched from the Virginia Coast destined to the International Space Station. And, you can view it here in Washington, D.C. That is, if the weather holds up. The unmanned rocket Antares will be able to transport cargo supplies to the ISS.
- Antares Rocket
It is scheduled to take off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 5p.m. EDT on Wednesday.
Antares rocket was designed by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, VA and it is advertised as providing low-cost, reliable access to space. It is expected to pave the way for future unmanned cargo deliveries to the ISS. SpaceX, another private company, has already completed two cargo delivery missions. The rocket is currently on the launch pad and stands at 131 feet tall. The two-stage vehicle will be launched toward the Southeast out over the Atlantic Ocean. Low Clouds Wednesday afternoon could potentially hold up the lift off. NASA officials say there is a 45% chance that lauch will take place as scheduled. If the skies are clear enough, you will be able to see a bright light streaming into the sky. Here is a map of the areas the rocket should be visible on a clear day.
- Antares Viewing Map
You can also view the launch live on NASA TV .Coverage on NASA TV starts at 4 p.m. EDT. For more information on Antares, check out Orbital's fact sheet. There is also more information on NASA's website.