How to View Oct. 28’s Antares Launch

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are set to support the launch of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket at 6:22 p.m. EDT today, Oct. 28. Launch coverage on NASA TV will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday’s launch attempt was scrubbed because of a boat down range in the trajectory Antares would have flown had it lifted off.

Antares rocket
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft aboard, is seen on launch Pad-0A, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Public viewing of the launch will be available at the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops. Wallops visitors are reminded that alcohol and pets are not allowed on Visitor Center grounds. Because of wind speeds and direction at upper altitudes today, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge / Assateague Island National Seashore will be closed at 4 p.m. to the public, therefore these sites will not be available for launch viewing. The Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission has additional recommendations for local viewing sites.

The launch may be visible, weather permitting, to residents throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States.

Orb-3 Launch Visibility Map
The Antares launch scheduled Oct. 28 may be visible to residents in the mid-Atlantic, weather permitting. Credit: NASA/Wallops Mission Planning Lab
trajectory over view of harbor
What the Antares launch may look like from Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland. Credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.
view of trajectory over tidal basin
Viewing the launch across the tidal basin from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.
trajectory over the upper west side.
Viewing from River Road in North Bergen, New Jersey, looking south. Credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.

More viewing maps from Orbital Sciences Corp. are available here.

The Antares rocket will carry Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, loaded with some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments, to the International Space Station. CRS-3 (short for “Commercial Resupply Services”) will be the fourth Cygnus flight, including a demonstration flight in 2013, and the first night launch of an Antares rocket.

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› NASA’s Orbital website
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40 thoughts on “How to View Oct. 28’s Antares Launch”

  1. The ephemeris in the KMZ file (maps page) shows yesterday’s launch trajectory to rendezvous with the ISS. Today the ISS is in a different orbital path; I believe a more southerly route.

  2. At what direction should I be looking from elon nc 27244? And at how many seconds after launch “should I might” see the rocket?

    1. From Elon, North Carolina, the direction to look would be roughly northeast. The first sighting opportunity would likely occur between two and three minutes after liftoff.

    1. From Dighton, Massachusetts, the direction to look would be roughly southwest. The first sighting opportunity would likely occur about 3.5 minutes after launch, currently scheduled for 6:22 p.m. EDT.

    1. From Langhorne, Pennsylvania, the direction to look is slightly west of due south. The first sighting opportunity would be about 90 seconds after liftoff.

    1. From Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the direction to look is almost due northeast. First sighting opportunity at about 2.5 minutes after liftoff.

    1. In Shrewsbury, it will appear low in the sky, so your best view would be where you can see the horizon without obstacles (trees, buildings, etc.). Look southwest, about 3.5 minutes after liftoff.

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