Friday, April 15, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Shortly after 1 a.m. last Saturday, residents and visitors to the resort area still awake were treated to a rare spectacle when the Terrier-Oriole sub-orbital rocket arched its way across the Delmarva sky and reached its peak altitude before falling harmlessly into the ocean.
According to Wallops officials, the launch was visible throughout a wide swath of Delmarva from Delaware to as far south as North Carolina.
“It was a great launch and should have been visible throughout much of the region, although I’m not sure how many people were up at that hour to witness it,” said Wallops spokesman Keith Koehler this week. “It wasn’t crystal clear and it might have been hazy in some areas, but many people in the area probably saw a pretty cool show.”
The rocket was launched as part of a Navy exercise off the mid-Atlantic coast. Three U.S. Second Fleet ships, including the U.S.S. Monterrey, the U.S.S. Ramage and the U.S.S. Gonzalez, converged off the Atlantic coast just south of Assateague to test their tracking systems for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. All three successfully tracked the sub-orbital Terrier Oriole rocket launched from Wallops early last Saturday morning.
All three ships were able to successfully track the target missile, with the Monterrey and the Ramage, both Aegis destroyers, providing simulated target solutions that would have resulted in a successful interception of the rocket had it been a real threat. No missiles were fired from the ships during the launch because it was simply a simulated training exercise.
“The whole exercise went very well,” said Koehler. “The Navy was able to accomplish everything it hoped to with the launch and its simulated responses to a real threat, and we were able to successfully launch another significant rocket at Wallops.”
Koehler said the training exercise was just one of many planned off the coast of the Atlantic involving rocket launches from Wallops.
“We are looking forward to working with the Navy on similar exercises in the future,” he said. “Because of our natural proximity to a vast majority of the Atlantic fleet in Norfolk, it makes perfect sense to continue our great working relationship with future launches.”
by: Shawn J. Soper, News Editor
Thursday, July 29, 2010
NASA plans to build an airstrip for unmanned planes on the north end of Wallops Island.
A public meeting on the proposed airstrip is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Wallops Island Flight Facility's visitor center.
NASA says the airstrip's orientation would be different than the existing strip. That would allow Unmanned Aerial Systems planes to take advantage of prevailing winds.
NASA says larger and heavier unmanned planes could operate from Wallops Island.
The proposed airstrip also would resolve range use conflicts between rockets and the unmanned planes.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
A Terrier-Orion suborbital sounding rocket is set to launch from NASA on Thursday June 24th between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM. The rocket will be the culmination of eleven experiments by different universities which where developed in a week long workshop where partakers learned how to build small experiments which can be launched onto suborbital rockets. A back up launch has been scheduled between June 25 and June 28.
The launch will be visible to people along the Wallops area and people along northern seaside coastal areas. NASA will open its Visitor Center at 5:00 AM for people wishing to view the launch.
The launch will be web cast beginning at 5 a.m. on launch day at: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast. Launch status can be followed on Twitter at: www.Twitter.com/NASA_Wallops.
Launch status also is available at the Wallops launch status line at 757-824-2050. Further information on the mission is available on the Internet at: www.nasa.gov/wallops.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
A 95-foot-long tractor-trailer will be transporting a full-size mockup of the first stage of Orbital Sciences' Taurus II rocket from the Wilmington, Delaware port to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. The actual rocket stage for the Taurus II is currently being built in the Ukraine.
The trip will begin in Wilmington at 9 p.m. Wednesday and the rig is expected to cross the Delaware-Maryland border at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The Wednesday evening trip will be trial run of the actual trip which is currently schedule for August 20 of this year.
Sights such as this could become more regular in the future as Governor McDonnell and the Virginia General Assembly have promised to make Wallops Island the east coasts next Cape Canaveral.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. The event will be held rain or shine.
In recognition of its 65th anniversary, NASA Wallops, along with many of its customers and partners that conduct activities at the facility, will have exhibits and demonstrations of the research and operations at one of the nation's oldest launch ranges.
Bill Wrobel, director of NASA Wallops, said "Wallops is at a very exciting point in its history. We want our neighbors on Delmarva to have this opportunity to share in this excitement."
"In addition, this is an opportunity to introduce students in the area to many science, technology, engineering and math careers. We hope that one day our local students will be carrying on the research at Wallops."
For the event, Wallops will have many of its facilities on its Main Base open including the sounding rocket payload facility, engineering labs, its scientific balloon labs and the range control center. Visitors will get to see full-scale sounding rockets, a scientific balloon, and the Cygnus spacecraft from Orbital Sciences Corp. Cygnus is scheduled to start carrying supplies to the International Space Station from Wallops in 2011. Also, three local high school teams will demonstrate their robots that competed in the First Robotics Competition.
For young explorers, there will be a kids' activities tent, a giant space shuttle slide and the Atlantic Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company's Fire Prevention Trailer.
In addition, the military aircraft, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, performing at the Ocean City Air Show, will be based at Wallops. They will take to the skies in the afternoon. Departure and arrival times will be announced the day of the open house.
Parking will be available on the base and buses will run throughout the day. Food will be available in the facility's cafeteria and on the grill outside out side the café.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
WALLOPS -- The Marine Science Consortium is looking for a few good men and women to help with a unique project. The consortium is refinishing more than 200 wooden chairs that will be classroom and lab seating in its new Leadership in Environment and Design Certified Education Center. The certification denotes the level of sustainability and green design that goes into a building.
The Education Center is being built with sustainable products, has high efficiency heating and cooling systems, low VOC paints and other products used indoors, low water use systems and is landscaped with plants native to the Eastern Shore.
"It's so wonderful to have a building that can be a model for other new building projects on the Shore," says Executive Director Amber Parker. "We not only want the building to be sustainable, but also the furnishing and other elements that fill it. The chairs we are refinishing were originally used in classrooms in Bloomsburg College in the late 1950s. They were donated to MSC, probably in the early 1970s. These attractive, comfortable chairs only need a facelift to continue to serve MSC for years to come."
Restoring and reusing the chairs creates a story of sustainability by allowing the consortium to show how, with just a bit of elbow grease, sturdy, old furniture can be revitalized and reused, instead of throwing it away and purchasing something new.
Sanding and giving multiple coats of polyurethane to more than 200 chairs does take some effort. Many have been completed, thanks to the efforts of staff and college student service weekend; however, there are many left to complete. The consortium would like to invite volunteers from the community to assist with this big project so that they can be a part of its story.
Volunteers should be comfortable using belt or circular sanders. The consortium will provide all training necessary. Service groups and individual volunteers are welcome.
Please contact Amber Parker at 757-824-5636 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to donate your time.
The Marine Science Consortium is a nonprofit environmental learning center and field station located on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
NASA is preparing to remove contaminated soil from Wallops Island in Virginia.
The plan will include cleanup (and off-site disposal) of two sites where soils have been contaminated with paint by-products and fuels. One sight has been contaminated by paint booth operations prior to the 1980's. The second site has been tainted by fuels used in test operations on jet engines before 1960. Several buildings, paved areas, grass and dirt will be removed..
The agency has indicated that the soil contains polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
According to NASA both chemicals pose an "unacceptable risk" to animals and humans.
The cost of the cleanup? About $1.5 million.
I'm sure the Environmental Protection Agency and Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality has been consulted
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
NASA has scheduled a rocket launch on Saturday from the Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island that will benefit NASA as well as students from several different universities across the nation.
The launch is scheduled between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Backup dates for the launch will be between March 28 and April 2.
According to Rebecca Powell of NASA, if you are in the Wallops area Saturday morning, chances are you will be able to see the rocket launch.
The flight's main goal is to test the Improved Malemute rocket motor. The Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket will carry two cubesats developed by university students in Kentucky, Moorehead State, the Naval Academy and California, according to a Powell. The cubeseats will eject from the rocket about 72 seconds into the flight and as they fall, they will collect data for research by the students.
The launch will be webcast live by NASA. The link to the webcast can be found below.
More Information Webcast Link
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
HAPPENING TODAY/ RIGHT NOW!!!!
WALLOPS — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at noon Wednesday will protest against what it claims is a plan by NASA to use squirrel monkeys in a radiation experiment.
The protest will be held at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility’s Visitor Center on Route 175. It was announced to media on Tuesday afternoon.
The PETA members will be wearing monkey masks while locked in small cages while they hold signs that read, "No Tax $ for Animal Abuse" and "Stop Radiation Tests on Monkeys.”
After exposing the monkeys to the radiation, NASA plans to subject the animals to years of additional laboratory experiments in order to observe how the radiation devastates their brains and bodies, PETA claims.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Turns out NASA successfully launched the Black Brant XII rocket from the launch pad located in Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket was designed to gather data on the highest clouds in the atmosphere. NASA hopes that the experiment will give them useful information regarding the properties and formation of the clouds, named noctilucent clouds, which occur in the higher altitudes.
So there you have it! Lots of people living in the Northeast (even as far away as Boston) saw the lights. Many people reported the sightings to news stations, as I guess I would have too. But, sorry, no aliens, just NASA.
And that's a good thing.