Record Space Launch May Give Hamptons Stargazers a Stellar Show

Minotaur rocket launch, Courtesy Orbital Sciences
Minotaur rocket launch, Courtesy Orbital Sciences

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.)

NASA Launch

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.

Live streaming video by Ustream

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