UPDATE: Public information session scheduled for Antares failure update

A public information session has been scheduled, to update residents about the on-going environmental remediation after the Antares rocket failure.

On December 15th, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will host the public meeting, at the Wallops Visitor Center. Officials will be on hand to answer questions from residents, and explain where they are in the process, and what’s next.

Bill Wrobel, Wallops Flight Facility director, says “I’m very proud of the work by the combined NASA, Orbital and MARS team in the wake of the Antares mishap. The team has been working tirelessly to restore and repair the launch site, which is a true national asset, so we can keep moving forward and return to launch.”

Since the October 27th failure, crews have been working to collect data samples including air, water, and soil, to look for potential environmental effects in the area. Officials say the effects are mainly contained to the rocket’s impact crater next to the launch pad. The crater has been pumped, and the liquid contained several times, to remove a chemical in the fuel of Antares’ second stage motor. This will be done continually, to track progress. Air sampling showed that there were no hazards or environmental impacts. The U.S. Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resources Commission watched the waterways for signs of water pollution, like oil sheens, but reportedly found none. Crews have also be excavating soil in the area around the crater, to remove any residual RP-1, a highly-refined kerosene used as fuel for Antares’ first stage.

For a complete recap on the environmental summary, visit NASA’s website. <http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/AntaresEnvFactsheetDec8.pdf>

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