Wallops Island Rocket Launch…. Woops!!

So last evening was supposed to be a spectacular launch from Wallops Island, of a supplies rocket for ISS Zarya, the International Space Station. On the website, www.N2YO.com , Zarya was to be inline, at the same time as the supplies rocket, just in time for dinner. But wait, ever see that commercial about “having a rough day”? Thanks to a boat in the bay,  that was in the restricted area of the trajectory and stage debris, the launch was scrubbed with about 10 minutes left, as the entire East Coast anxiously waited for the sight, I know they were, was touted on every news channel with “sightings maps” and where to be to see it.

Now you’d think, with the communications of today, the boater knew where he was, and wasn’t supposed to be. I mean, the rocket probably had warm 5 Guys burgers, cold Cokes, toilet paper, more Swiffer supplies, AA batteries, new iPhone 6 and iPads, mail, Halloween candy, and other “things” folks without a 7-11 needed as well. But the boat. Really?

Hopefully the US Coastguard pulled them over and gave them a hefty ticket. Those guys were probably getting ready to eat dinner and see the launch as well, but, the boat.

Tonight, at 6:25 pm, the launch is rescheduled to happen. Again. Last night would have been spectacular, as the ISS was at a blazing magnitude of -2.4, that’s brighter than Venus. And in perfect alignment, to capture the “Space 7-11. The Launch was supposed to be 6:45, and Zarya passed over us at 6:49, can’t get that kind of service at Sonics… Boaters, please, stay away, you know who you are. You anonymously made the news, and I myself, would have held you as a terrorist. Treated you as a pirate captured, and sunk your boat. I wonder what his excuse was in this day and age of GPS and communication.

The way to see it, IF no boaters, is to find a nice higher spot, with a view towards Wallops Island. Google Maps has a nice directional pointer to find your view. Pan out after the app has located you, and find Wallops Island off the shore, it’s a little jutting out spot on the eastern part of the Eastern Shore. Turn your device towards the area, until the small arrow where you are, points directly at it, and then mark it. I have to be looking towards 111 degrees here in Richmond Va. Hopefully, there’s no “woops” tonight.

For more on ISS viewing, www.N2YO.com is very interesting. Click ISS Zarya , next page click 5 day predictions, then in the charts, the lower Magnitude number, the brighter. -2.0 and lower, great viewing. Check the box in the chart, and a trajectory line will appear on the map at left. Just know your states. Green arrow is up, red is down. The three times in the line, are approaching horizon, Max view overhead, and ending horizon. Have fun. It is, very interesting.

 

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