Wallops Island rocket launch may be visible Wednesday evening

The launch is designed to study ionization just outside the earth’s atmosphere

A goose is startled as Northup Grumman's Antares rocket lifts off the launch pad at NASA's Wallops Island flight facility in Wallops Island, Va., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. The rocket is delivering cargo to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. – A rocket launch is scheduled at Wallops Island later in the day on Wednesday, March 3rd. Its mission will be to study ionization just outside the reach of Earth’s atmosphere.

Rocket launch at NASA's Wallops Island Facility - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The rocket, according to NASA will reach an altitude of several hundred miles and go about 500 miles offshore. A small and harmless amount of vapor will be released. They say, “Colorful clouds may be visible over the ocean to residents in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States as the Sun illuminates the vapor before it diffuses harmlessly into space.”

Tony Rice, an ambassador to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tells 10 News to look out around sunset Wednesday.

Sunrise and sunset times for Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

No real-time launch updates or live streams will be shown. The NASA Visitor Center won’t be open for public viewing.

If you get any pictures of colorful clouds after launch time, be sure to send those to us via Pin It.


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