NASA Wallops Rolls Out Antares, Expects Test Launch In Two Weeks - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

NASA Wallops Rolls Out Antares, Expects Test Launch In Two Weeks

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - It's being called the largest launch ever for NASA Wallops Island.

The Antares rocket launch is five years in the making.  Early Saturday morning, ground crews at NASA Wallops roll out the much anticipated rocket. They lift the 605,000 pound rocket a top Orbital Sciences brand new launch pad.  

Now, the countdown begins.

"Words are kind of hard to really capture just how exciting this is for us," said Jeremy Eggers, NASA Wallops Chief of Public Affairs.

Officials say the test launch will be no earlier than April 17th, with a timeframe between April 17th-19th. The test will collect data.

The surrounding area, because of Assateague Island, is known as a summertime tourist attraction.

But NASA officials, like Eggers, hope the upcoming missions will only attract more of the 1.4 million visitors annually.

"They're staying in the local hotels, they're going to the beach or reading at they local restaurants," said Eggers. "I think there certainly is a potential for this to provide a boast to the economy."

 Michael Brainard, Orbital Sciences senior operations manager says he's adding jobs to help the local economy.

"We've got about 35 people full-time living here at Wallops and we'll bring in about 35 to 40 more before launch."

After the test launch, officials say the first of 10 missions to the International Space Station will begin this summer. All missions, which will send supplies and conduct experiments, will occur over the next five years.

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