Update: June 15, 8:05 a.m. ET: The launch team is now aiming for liftoff of the Minotaur 1 rocket at 9:35 a.m. ET, with NASA coverage starting at 9:05 a.m. ET.
A Northrop Grumman Minotaur 1 rocket is scheduled to launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Tuesday morning. Conditions permitting, the launch will be visible from New York City and other locations along America’s northeast.
The four-stage solid fuel rocket will be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS) Pad 0B, which is located on Wallops island in Virginia. Launch services for this mission, designated NROL-111, are being provided by the U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise. The Minotaur 1 will be delivering three “national security payloads” to space (and yeah, that’s all the detail we get).
“Viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands,” NASA noted in a statement, adding that the visitor center at Wallops will not be open. “The launch may be visible, weather permitting, to residents throughout the mid-Atlantic region and possibly the East Coast of the United States.”
For people located in New York City, New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania including Philadelphia, the rocket should be visible between 30 and 60 seconds after liftoff, which is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Views of the rocket from 60 to 120 seconds after launch may also be possible in outlying areas, including parts of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Canadians living in southern Ontario might also be able to catch a glimpse of the four-stage solid fueled space launch vehicle.
To date, Minotaur 1 rockets have conducted 11 missions with a perfect success rate, in which 62 satellites have been delivered to Earth orbit, according to Northrop Grumman. The launch on Tuesday will be the third small launch from Wallops for the U.S. Space Force in the past year.