WALLOPS ISLAND (AP)- Just a little later than expected, a Minotaur 1 rocket streaked along the eastern U.S. Tuesday evening as NASA put a smartphone and 28 other tiny satellites into orbit. The rocket took off around 8:15 p.m.
It was seen by people in Hampton Roads, who took photos and sent them to 13News Now.
On the WVEC Facebook page, people talked about the launch.
'So cool. We saw the rocket,' said Pattie Sue Cartwright.
Tina Schreck wrote, 'We saw it from Va Beach. It lit up the sky as it took off!!!'
Tommy Wheat added, 'Fantastic sight from Gloucester...!!!'
NASA and the Air Force launched the private Minotaur rocket from the facility at Wallops Island in a test flight. The NASA launch pad is getting more use, giving more Americans a view of soaring spacecraft that used to be limited to Florida and California.
Experts had estimated that the launch would be seen from Savannah, Ga., to Montreal to central Ohio.
One of the satellites is controlled by the guts of an off-the-shelf smartphone as NASA experiments with small, cheap, orbiting science projects.
The rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, also carries a satellite built by Virginia high school students.
More on the mission here.
The next Wallops launch is an Antares rocket with a Cygnus cargo spacecraft targeted for the week of December 15-21.