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 Post subject: Another Wallops Launch
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Hopefully it won't be 17 failed attempts, then launching in secrecy after all the disappointment.

Wallops Launch Visibility Map - Orbital ATK CRS-8

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/wall ... bility-map

Quote:
Launch is targeted at 7:37 a.m EST on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. NASA TV coverage begins at 7 a.m. EST.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:08 pm 
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The date for this launch has already shifted a few times, which seems to be par for the course for most rocket launches. From SpaceflightNow...

Quote:
Nov. 11 Antares • OA-8

Launch time: 1237 GMT (7:37 a.m. EST)
Launch site: Pad 0A, Wallops Island, Virginia

An Orbital ATK Antares rocket will launch the ninth Cygnus cargo freighter on the eighth operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. The mission is known as OA-8. The rocket will fly in the Antares 230 configuration, with two RD-181 first stage engines and a Castor 30XL second stage. Delayed from July 6. Moved forward from Oct. 1. Delayed from Sept. 12 and Nov. 10. [Oct. 18]

The final date in square brackets indicates when they made the last update for this launch.

In any case, as a follower of Wallops launches in general, it was a disappointment that this one has a daytime launch window (7:37 to 7:42 am EST). The rocket exhaust will not be as prominent as it would have been for a nighttime launch. I saw an impressive rocket exhaust plume in my 16x70 binoculars on the October 17, 2016, launch at 7:45 pm EDT, as viewed from Moorestown, NJ, 152 miles from Wallops.

If the weather cooperates, I'll probably head back to the same spot. The current forecast is calling for clear skies, but the overnight temperature is predicted to drop to 17°F, so it will a bit nippy! Hopefully, at least a smoke trail will be visible and maybe that will be a guide to the rocket plume. We'll see.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:42 pm 
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I was out this morning (November 11, 2017) watching for the Antares rocket, but saw nothing through 7:47 am EST when I gave up. The five minute launch window started at 7:37 am, plus I allowed a few minutes for the rocket to rise high enough to see. I was discouraged and feared it just wasn't that visible in the daytime.

I didn't do a lot of heavy-duty status following in the field. I just called the Wallops hotline around 7:10 am and the 7:07 am update recording indicated everything was on track for a 7:37 am launch, and that it would be the final hotline update. I had already been at this site, Swede Run in Moorestown, NJ, since 5 am. I wanted to spot (4) Vesta in the early throes of astronomical twilight (success), see an ISS pass at 5:21 am (success, plus I saw an unexpected spent CZ-4B rocket booster pass at the same time), and the pairing of Venus and Jupiter (2° apart) before sunrise (success).

It wasn't until I returned home and checked that I found out the launch was scrubbed at the last minute due to a small aircraft in the security zone. Sort of like the dreaded boat in the security zone that has been all too common, but the first time for a plane that I know of. Oh well, at least I didn't fail observationally.

They're scheduled to try again on Sunday, November 12, with a five-minute window opening at 7:14 am. However, our Clear Sky Chart for Sunday morning doesn't look that good, but it's too early to tell for sure.

https://twitter.com/NASA_Wallops

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