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April 28, 2011

Satellite launch from Wallops this summer


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is preparing for another Minotaur rocket launch down on Wallops Island, Va., the fourth since 2006.

The 70-foot rocket will carry an ORS-1 satellite for the Pentagon. It’s designed to provide “multi-spectral” imaging for combatants on the ground.

The launch date remains uncertain, but liftoff should occur sometime this summer.

When skies are clear, orbital launches from Wallops can be seen for hundreds of miles. Watch this space.

(NASA PHOTO, 2006)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:01 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition


This space cadet will be ready. Seeing one of these launches is something I've always wanted to do.

I was able to see a previous Minotaur launch from Penn Ave in DC, right in front of the White House. The con trail came up over what is now the W hotel.

FR: I watched a Wallops launch from my front window in Cockeysville, and another from Fells Point. I also was at Wallops in 1995 for a failed Conestoga orbital attempt. They blew the rocket up about a minute after ignition. Pretty amazing.

Thanks for the advanced notice, Frank! claims a launch date of May 30, and also mentions another launch on December 14.

FR: There's virtually no chance of a May launch, according to Wallops officials. There is a Taurus 2 orbital launch expected in the fall. If things go well, they may squeeze in two this year, I'm told. The Taurus 2 rockets are almost twice the size of Minotaur.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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