News Default NASA's Wallops Facility Supports Rocket Lab's NRO Launch
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NASA's Wallops Facility Supports Rocket Lab's NRO Launch

By Copilot, March 18, 2024

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is gearing up to play a crucial role in supporting Rocket Lab’s upcoming Electron rocket launch. Here are the details:

The Mission: NROL-123

The mission, codenamed NROL-123, is a dedicated launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). This secretive agency is responsible for operating reconnaissance satellites that provide critical intelligence to the United States.

The Rocket: Electron

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, standing tall at 59 feet, will lift off from Launch Complex 2 at the Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. The Electron is a reliable workhorse, designed to carry payloads into space efficiently.

Launch Window

The launch window opens at 2:40 a.m. EDT on March 21 and extends for four hours, closing at 6:30 a.m. During this time, Rocket Lab’s Electron will soar into the sky, carrying its precious cargo.

Viewing Locations

For those eager to witness the spectacle, several viewing locations on Chincoteague Island offer prime spots. Head to Robert Reed Park, Curtis Merritt Harbor, or the Beach Road causeway between Chincoteague and Assateague islands. Unfortunately, the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center and grounds won't be open for launch viewing.

Online Viewing

If you can't make it in person, fear not! The launch will be visible online via Rocket Lab’s YouTube channel. Tune in about 40 minutes before the launch window opens to catch the live stream.

Remember, weather permitting, residents along much of the East Coast of the United States may also catch a glimpse of the Electron rocket as it streaks across the sky.

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