WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va. (NASA WALLOPS) — Residents and visitors for the launch of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), scheduled to lift-off at 11:27 p.m. EDT, Sept. 6, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0B at the Wallops Flight Facility, will have two prime viewing locations.
In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Accomack County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Chincoteague, visitors to the area may view the launch from Robert Reed Park on Chincoteague or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.
The two sites will feature the LADEE launch countdown live and NASA personnel will be on hand to discuss the LADEE mission. In addition, a live broadcast of the launch operations will be shown on a big-screen projector in Robert Reed Park beginning at 9:30 p.m. on the day of launch.
“We’re excited about this partnership with the community in providing an enhanced launch experience to members of the public,” said Jeremy Eggers, public information officer for Wallops. “The live countdown and launch broadcast will place people in mission control on launch night for what is already a historic mission for Wallops and the Eastern Shore.”
The Robert Reed Park and Beach Road viewing sites are the official viewing sites for the LADEE launch. Area residents and visitors to the area should note that the beach on Assateague Island (Va.) will close at 7 p.m. on day of launch and will not be open for launch viewing given the safety area required for LADEE’s launch trajectory. Furthermore, it’s expected that the NASA Visitors Center will reach capacity early and close.
The LADEE mission has many firsts, including the first flight of the Minotaur V rocket, testing of a high-data-rate laser communication system, and the first lunar launch from Wallops.
LADEE also is the first spacecraft designed, developed, built, integrated and tested at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Ames manages the overall LADEE mission. The probe will launch on a U.S. Air Force Minotaur V rocket, an excess ballistic missile converted into a space launch vehicle and operated by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.
From Richmond, you should be able to see a moving light to the east-northeast, similar to when you spot the International Space Station flying overhead. Viewers along the northeast Bay will have an even better viewing angle, as they will be closer to the Wallops launch range.
For more information about the LADEE mission and launch, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ladee
For more information about our nearest celestial neighbor, visit: http://moon.nasa.gov
In addition, the site contains a map showing different viewing locations available for launch viewing.
Organizations interested in hosting a launch viewing event may submit the event information at: http://go.nasa.gov/1f0qkih
Android users have the option of downloading the new “What’s Up at Wallops” app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing. The app is available for download at: http://go.nasa.gov/17veCYT
A live broadcast of the launch will air on NASA TV; a television schedule as well as a live webcast of the launch will be available here: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv