Virginia Launches Rocket Carrying Student Experiment
The Antares rocket, carrying supplies to the International Space Station and a locally-designed experiment, lifts off Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Va. NASA/BILL INGALLS PHOTO
“It was one small step for space exploration, but it was one giant leap for economic development and technology advancement in Virginia,” wrote Wise County/Norton Circuit Court Clerk Jack Kennedy of Wednesday’s rocket launch at Wallops Island, Va.
Kennedy (SpSt M.S. '08), a member of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority’s board of directors, escorted a handful of students from J.I. Burton High School in Norton and Lebanon High School to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to watch the launch of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket, carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft with supplies for the International Space Station.
The payload includes a science experiment designed and created by students from the two local schools. Students were able to watch the launch from about 1.6 miles away.
Wednesday’s launch follows the Sept. 6 launch of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission to conduct experiments in orbit around the moon, Kennedy noted. “It is an exciting time for the next generation of space explorers throughout the region and the nation.”
Orbital Sciences has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to deliver freight to the space station over the course of eight flights ending in 2016.
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