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Wallops Island Sends Another Resupply Mission to the International Space Station

Northrup Grumman Antares in the early morning on Launch Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Northrup Grumman Antares in the early morning on Launch Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. (Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Virginia’s Wallops Island Flight Facility has just sent another Antares Rocket and Cygnus spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station.  It represents an important historic and economic impact.

The resupply mission to the International Space Station left early Saturday morning on an important anniversary.

Keith Kohler:  Yeah, Saturday’s launch was pretty significant because it’s also the anniversary of…that’s when we started 20 years ago, people permanently on the space station.

NASA’s Keith Koehler says it just the beginning of a very busy schedule for Virginia’s space portal

Koehler:  This was the tenth launch of the Antares Rocket from Wallops since 2013,  and for us, it is really leading off now into an increase of missions that we have on schedule for the next few years that of the larger orbital type, both for Antares to the Space Station, the new Rocket Lab company is starting launches here in 2020 and we have Department of Defense Minotaur Missions on tap now for the next couple of years. 

This mission carries supplies, a new vest to protect astronauts from extreme radiation in space, some mice to see how phases of light and dark can affect liver health, and the first ever space oven to cook chocolate chip cookies in space. Until now most food is reheated with hot water.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority says the Wallops Island Aerospace Cluster has an annual economic impact of about 1.37 billion dollars.