I drove over to the eastern shore and down to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility open House today. The main facility next to the airfield (which is serving as a staging area for the Ocean City Air Show this weekend) was open. Along with the Range Control Center, balloon and sounding rocket preparation facilities and engineering labs, exhibits from various organizations including Orbital Sciences Corp. and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) were present.
The launch sites several miles to the south were not open as cement laying and other construction activities are underway at Orbital's Taurus II launch pad, in preparation for cargo deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS) scheduled to start next year. As we toast yesterday's historic launch advancing commercial space, it is exciting to realize that SpaceX and Florida can't have all the fun, as some of the action is coming closer to home.
Inside the Wallops Range Control Center
Orbital's Cygnus cargo delivery vehicle (full scale model) from both sides