Best places to watch Monday night Antares launch

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket is scheduled to lift off from Wallops Island at 7:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17.

The launch was postponed from Sunday night because of "a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch check out," according to a statement from NASA released Sunday afternoon.

The launch will be the first at the facility since an Oct. 28, 2014, explosion idled the program.

Orbital is one of two aerospace contractors under contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station. The rockets are unmanned.

See more: Stakes high for Antares' return flight to Wallops

They also are spectacular to watch. Here is a list of the best locations — both actual and virtual — to catch a glimpse.

  • The Wallops Visitor Center. How to get there: from Route 13, head east at T's Corner on Chincoteague Road; the center is 7 miles ahead on the right. Amenities: three viewing areas, including bleacher seating, a rooftop observation deck and indoors in a live broadcast room. Tips: Bring bug spray if you plan to watch outdoors. Parking fills up fast so try to arrive at least an hour ahead of time. No pets allowed.
  • Queen's Sound Boat Landing. How to get there: Follow the same directions to the visitor center but keep going past it. The boat landing is along the causeway to Chincoteague. Amenities: None. Tips: Bug spray is a must.
  • Curtis Merritt Harbor. How to get there: Follow the directions to Queen's Sound but keep going onto Chincoteague Island. Turn right onto Main Street; the harbor is near the end of the road on the left at 2246 Curtis Merritt Harbor Road. Amenities: None. Tips: Two words: bug spray.
  • Arbuckle Neck in Assawoman. How to get there: From Route 13, head east on Route 691. Follow to the stop sign and turn left Metompkin Road/Atlantic Road. Then turn right onto Arbuckle Neck Road. Amenities: At one mile away, it is the closest viewing area by far.
  • Robert Reed Park: How to get there: Follow same directions to Curtis Merritt Harbor but turn right a half mile after turning onto Main Street. Parking lot is the entrance at Don's Seafood. Amenities: Closer to town.

To watch virtually, check out NASA's livestream or DelmarvaNow's Facebook Live page. 


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