Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) is a commercial space launch facility located at the southern tip of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the Delmarva Peninsula and south of Chincoteague, Virginia, United States.
In July 2003, Governors Robert Ehrlich of Maryland and Mark Warner of Virginia signed an agreement that directed the Secretary of Commerce and Trade of Virginia and the Secretary of Business and Economic Development of Maryland to form a working group to develop a concept and implementation plan for joint governance, operation, and administration of the commercial spaceport at Wallops Island. The spaceport, then known as the Virginia Space Flight Center, had been developed[when?] with a combination of federal, state, and private sector funding by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA).
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport has two active launch pads. A third was proposed, but never built.
Launch pad 0A (LP-0A) was built for the Conestoga rocket, which made its only flight in 1995. The launch tower was subsequently demolished in September 2008, and has now been rebuilt for use by the Orbital Sciences Antares. The pad modifications for Antares included the construction of a Horizontal Integration Facility for launcher/payload mating and a wheeled transporter/erector that will "roll out and erect the rocket on its launch pad about 24 hours prior to launch."
Launch pad 0B (LP-0B) became operational in 1999, and was subsequently upgraded with the construction of a mobile service tower, which was completed in 2004. It remains active, and is currently used by Minotaur rockets.
The facility suffered significant damage during the 28 Oct. 2014 Antares launch failure, according to NASA officials in the immediate aftermath. The State of Virginia is seeking help from its two US Senators to obtain Federal funding for rebuilding the pad. Preliminary estimates for rebuilding the pad indicate the cost should be no more than US$20 million. By May 2015, that estimate had been revised down to US$13 million and repairs were expected to be completed by September or October 2015 with the next planned launch in March 2016. On September 30, 2015, the spaceport announced repairs on pad 0A had been completed.
The first rocket to be launched from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport[clarification needed] was an Orbital Sciences Minotaur I, at 12:00 GMT on 16 December 2006, with two spacecraft, TacSat-2 for the US Air Force, and GeneSat-1 for NASA.
|Launch||Date (UTC)||Vehicle||Payload||Launch pad||Result||Remarks|
|1||16 December 2006, 12:00||Minotaur I||TacSat-2 / GeneSat-1||Pad 0B||Success|
|2||24 April 2007, 06:48||Minotaur I||NFIRE||Pad 0B||Success|
|3||22 August 2008, 09:10||ALV X-1||Hy-BoLT/SOAREX 6||Pad 0B||Failure|
|4||19 May 2009, 23:55||Minotaur I||TacSat-3||Pad 0B||Success|
|5||30 June 2011, 03:09||Minotaur I||USAF ORS-1 Satellite||Pad 0B||Success|
|6||21 April 2013, 21:00||Antares||Cygnus Mass Simulator||Pad 0A||Success|
|7||7 September 2013, 03:27||Minotaur V||LADEE mission to Lunar orbit||Pad 0B||Success|
|8||18 September 2013, 14:58||Antares||Cygnus Orb-D1
COTS Demo Mission
|9||19 November 2013, 20:15||Minotaur I||ORS 3, STPSat3||Pad 0B||Success|
|10||9 January 2014, 18:07||Antares||Cygnus CRS Orb-1||Pad 0A||Success||First Cygnus
ISS re-supply mission
|11||13 July 2014, 16:52||Antares||Cygnus CRS Orb-2||Pad 0A||Success||ISS re-supply mission|
|12||28 October 2014, 22:22||Antares||Cygnus CRS Orb-3||Pad 0A||Failure||Pad damaged by explosion and fire.|
|10 October 2016, 2:47||Antares (with new first-stage engine)||Cygnus CRS Orb-5||Pad 0A (rebuilt)||Scheduled||ISS re-supply mission|
|December 30, 2016||Antares (with new first-stage engine)||Cygnus CRS Orb-7||Pad 0A (rebuilt)||Scheduled||ISS re-supply mission|
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- Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0
- Orbital Sciences Corporation
- Wade, Mark. "Wallops Island LA0A". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- "Launch Tower Demolition". GMB. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- Kyle, Ed (2011-05-14). "Taurus 2". Space Launch Report. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
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- Wade, Mark. "Wallops Island LA0 HAD". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- Botelho, Gerg. "Unmanned NASA-contracted rocket explodes; damage is 'significant'". CNN. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
- Foust, Jeff (2014-11-21). "Virginia May Seek Federal Funds for Wallops Spaceport Repairs". Space News. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
- Leone, Dan (May 15, 2015). "With $2 Million Left on Wallops Repair Bill, NASA and Virginia Look to Orbital ATK To Dig Deeper". Space News. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
- "Completion Of Repairs at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Launch Pad 0A". vaspace.org. September 30, 2015.
- Wade, Mark. "Wallops Island LA0B". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Tennant, Diane (22 Aug 2008). "NASA destroys rocket shortly after launch at Wallops Island". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Clark, Stephen. "Antares launches private mission to space station". Spaceflightnow.com.
- "Teams investigate failure of unmanned rocket off Virginia coast". CNN.
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