Rocket launch provides a show for sky gazers along the East Coast


The launch of the rocket and unmanned cargo ship, Cygnus, from Wallops Island, Virginia was originally scheduled for October 14, but was delayed because of Tropical Storm Nicole.

Sky gazers along much of the East Coast - Washington and NY included - are in for a treat. Visibility is dependent on local weather conditions, but the nighttime launch window will help make the launch more easily visible against the dark evening sky. On October 17, the aerospace company will launch the new Antares 230 nearly exactly two years after its failed liftoff. "A lot of hard work has gone into this".

This is the fifth commercial Cygnus flight to the space station.

More than 130 VIPs were expected from Capitol Hill for the launch at 8:03 p.m. on Sunday. We won't know until after launch if that is possible, but check back here for updates.

The launch could be seen from a good portion of the East Coast.

The Cygnus won't deliver these experiments for a while, though.

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft, meant to resupply the International Space Station, was to be deployed from an Antares rocket set to launch shortly after 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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Since 2012, Space X and Orbital have shipped food, equipment and scientific experiments on 12 successful missions. That will give three astronauts time to launch from Kazakhstan and get to the station.

The long-awaited launch of an upgraded version of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket has been delayed until Monday night due to an anomaly in ground support equipment, NASA officials announced on Sunday.

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's (MARS) Pad 0-A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia at 7:45 p.m. EDT (2345 GMT).

Antares Liftoff on Orbital ATK Cygnus OA-5 Mission, October 17, 2016. Everything seemed to be going well at the pad over the weekend, following a succession of rocket tests in recent weeks and months.

This launch has been postponed a couple of times due to Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole. The private company is under a lot of pressure since this is their first launch in two years after their rocket failed catastrophically, and the vehicle and payload were destroyed causing $15 million in damage.

The last launch of an Antares rocket, on October 28, 2014, ended in disaster a few seconds after liftoff. Today only Russian Federation can launch humans to space aboard its Soyuz rocket. Mars is the prime target.