RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The biggest piece of equipment ever to be launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore began its “rollout” Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Wallops released a couple of photos from the Antares First Stage rollout yesterday. Wallops also stated, “For the next several days, Orbital Sciences Corporation will be conducting ‘pathfinder’ operations for the critical process of rolling out the Antares rocket to the launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. In the photo above, the Antares first stage is heading up the ramp to the launch pad aboard the specifically designed TEL (transporter erector launcher), after a one-mile journey beginning at the Horizontal Integration Facility.”
Here is a closer view of this big rocket, the biggest object ever to be launched from Wallops:
Rebecca Powell, NASA Wallops Public Affairs Specialist, explains why this mission is so exciting and historic for Wallops, and if we will see the launch from central Virginia:
“Per Orbital’s schedule– We’re looking at a June time frame for a test flight. In terms of the project, NASA chose two companies (Orbital and SpaceX) to resupply cargo to the International Space Station. Orbital chose the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Flight Facility to launch from– we’re very excited. A new launch pad is being constructed (you can see that in the photo) as well as a new building to integrate the rocket. It will be quite the show. You will most certainly see this launch from Richmond. It will be INCREDIBLE. I’m beyond excited about it. It’s around 131 feet tall — the biggest thing we’ve ever launched from Wallops.”
You can “Like” Wallops on Facebook for more updates on what’s happening at the Eastern Shore facility! And, of course, when launch time comes, I’ll let you know so we can enjoy watching the biggest rocket ever launched from Wallops lift off.