ROCKET WATCH: NASA launch postponed to Monday; visible from Richmond

Published: May. 17, 2018 at 2:22 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2018 at 1:03 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Early birds on Monday morning will catch a show if they know where to look.

The ANTARES rocket is slated to be launched from NASA's Wallops Island Facility on the Eastern Shore.

The launch had been scheduled Sunday but was delayed.

Most of the rockets launched from Wallops are sub-orbital, which means they don't get high enough to enter Earth orbit. This one will not only go into orbit, but it will eventually dock with and resupply the International Space Station.

If skies are clear, it will be easy to see in Richmond. The farther east you are, the easier it will be to see, especially along the Chesapeake Bay.

Below is a video from a launch like this two years ago taken near Willow Lawn, on the western edge of Richmond. The launch starts at the 14:20 mark.

Here are some things to keep in mind to prepare for the launch:

1) First, bookmark the page below. You'll be able to stream the launch and see if it is delayed or canceled.

If you can't make it to the Wallops area to view the launch you can still partake in the experience through the Wallops Mission Status Center. There you will find information about the mission and links to live countdown audio as well as live video of the launch.   Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. May 19 on the Wallops video and audio Ustream sites.

2) Makes plans to get up early. The launch is scheduled for 4:29 a.m. Monday, but the window can float. Get outside a few minutes before 4:30 a.m. and watch.

3) Check the weather! There are clouds in the forecast. Use the NBC12 Weather app or our mobile weather page to see if your area is clear. (You can also use it to keep up-to-date every other day.)

4) Find a spot with a clear view of the eastern horizon. The farther east, the better. The western shores of the Chesapeake Bay are an ideal location, but a HUGE part of the Mid-Atlantic will see the launch, if the weather permits.

Enjoy the show, and let's hope for clear skies and no wayward boats in the launch zone, because they can cause the launch to be scrubbed.

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