Our Hamptons skies should be a sight to see this evening.
The United States Air Force is launching a record 29 satellites into space tonight (Tuesday, November 19) and we should be able to see it from our local beaches, if the weather cooperates. The ORS-3 mission (from the U.S military’s Operationally Responsive Space Office) is scheduled to launch its satellite payload atop a Minotaur 1 rocket during a two-hour window, between 7:30 and 9:15 p.m.
Astronomical aficionados say the record space launch, out of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Viriginia, could create a magnificent show for stargazers and skywatchers along a stretch of the East Coast, including the East End of Long Island. (See chart below.)
According to a statement from Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies working with the U.S. Air Force, the Minotaur I space launch vehicle combines commercial launch vehicle technologies (including upper stage rocket motors, structures, avionics and other elements) from Orbital Sciences Corporation with government-supplied first- and second-stage rocket motors to create responsive, reliable and low-cost launch systems for U.S. Government-sponsored spacecraft. It can place single or multiple satellites weighing up to 1,300 lbs. into low-Earth orbit. Tomorrow’s mission will be the 25th Minotaur launch since the rocket’s first flight in 2000.
Most importantly, it will look really cool if you see it. A series of rain dates are scheduled through November 26, if the weather fails to cooperate.
When it happens, the launch will stream live in the embedded video box below.