Rocket Launches from Wallops Island, VA
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 by Frank Shortt
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On April 17, 2019, a rocket called the NG-11 Mission was launched from Wallops Island, Va. at 4:46pm EST. The Antares rocket was launched by Northrup Grumman and carried 7600 pounds of cargo.

The purpose of the April 17 rocket launch was as a resupply mission to the International Space Station. The 7600 pounds of cargo consisted of crew, science and research supplies, and vehicle hardware for the orbital laboratory and its crew.   As preparation for the launch proceeded, and the countdown began, the weather for such launches was perfect! Those viewing this launch were given a wonderful show as the launch went perfectly as planned and were able to watch the rocket as it disappeared leaving a contrail behind. As the contrail disappeared, those watching were left wondering where the rocket disappeared to leaving the bonds of earth!

The Past Wallops Island rocket launch was on May 21, 2018 at 4:44am EST and was for the same purpose as the present launch. This was also an Antares rocket and launched by Northrup Grumman. This too was a successful launch and mission was carried out as planned. Each rocket carried a Cygnus Cargo ship.

Since 1945, there have been over 16,000 launches from the Wallops site. These launches have been for the purpose of acquiring knowledge of aircraft flight characteristics, launch vehicles, and spacecraft. The launch vehicles vary in size and power.

We here in the bay area do not get to enjoy regular launchings of rockets. It causes quite a sensation as Vandenberg AFB sometimes sends up rockets. For days afterward there are inquiries as to what are the strange smoke trails, usually in the evening skies. Folks back east enjoy these launchings on a regular basis.

When Flash Gordon used to traverse the universe among the stars, dodging asteroids and planetoids, we thought space travel was many years in the making. Today, the space race is still in full swing as countries compete to place men on distant planets, stars, and the moon. Rocket launches have become commonplace, unless of course, something goes awry.

In the 1950ís children could be seen playing spaceman with their newly acquired laser guns. These have been replaced with hand held phones that can do anything that once required us to own a large P.C. Yesterday I was introduced for the first time to a watch, in the style of Dick Tracyís two-way wrist radio that can do more that we could have ever dreamed.

It is no wonder that agencies can pinpoint the change we have in our pockets, and even from outer space via satellite. There is no privacy anymore. What will happen when all the computers begin to fail that is guiding all the missiles, satellites, and God knows what else in outer space? Talk about a confusion of humungous magnitude! What will be there to stop it?

If mankind knew in the beginning of rocketry what a mess he was making, it is for certain he would have traversed lightly. He would have taken his time, placing each missile within reach of his control. Now is seems that space exploration is out of control as greedy nations seek the wealth that the outer limits might offer. Who will win the race? The strongest and smartest, they think!