Chincoteague Island has always been known for the wild ponies, beaches, and quaintness. The island has become a major tourist attraction for families in the summer time and continues to grow for Christmas events, and things in the Fall & Spring even!
But did you know that on your way to the island, you pass by a lot of fencing, and you might see some satellites, airplanes, and a few sounding rockets displayed at a museum? Well that is NASA at Wallops Island which neighbors Chincoteague. NASA Wallops has been in operation since 1945, and we also have NOAA.
As locals, we predict that our home will not only be famous for our wild ponies, but we are also being known for our spectacular rocket launches. Recently a company, Orbital has been working alongside Wallops to launch rockets to the International Space Station. Can you believe that? People travel from all over the country and the world to come to our islands and learn more about our sounding rockets, big rockets, and science.
In May of 2018, The Antares Rocket was launched to the International Space Station to deliver supplies and scientific resources. This is a bigger launch than a sounding rocket. A sounding rocket is a smaller rocket but is used for big scientific study. NASA Wallops Flight Facility (NASA WFF) has a sounding rockets program. Every season, the town of Chincoteague gains more and more visitors to come and WITNESS this spectacular sight. Not many people can say that they've ever seen a rocket being launched before. Or better yet, even seen one going to the International Space Station.
A fun fact- my dad John has been working at NASA for nearly 20 years. He worked very hard and went to school for 13 years to start at a position in the Safety Dept. After mastering the department and that becoming one of his specialties, he worked a few more jobs such as Campaign Manager, he recently got his biggest promotion yet as the Deputy Program Manager of the entire Sounding Rockets Program at NASA WFF.
On another note... Over the years, I have found a broad interest in our website, blogging, and photography. So, thankfully my dad has the connection to get my family and myself to the best seat in the house.. I get to watch rockets either near or on Wallops Island close to the launch pad. (see some photos above and below that I took)
The reason why I want to share this information with you is because we have seen many guests come to Holiday Cottages and Chincoteague to stay with their friends or kids and watch these incredible rockets. Just to get you excited for possibly seeing one of these, I can honestly say, like the Pony Swim of Chincoteague... I have seen rocket launches and my dad's launches for my entire life. My Family and I STILL get excited. Now you can get an App, watch the count down and listen in to the scientists discuss probabilities, weather conditions, and the countdown itself. Then it's 3, 2, 1, GO....... all of a sudden all you see is red and orange and smoke, you hear a light rumble. Then it gets louder and louder and you feel a rumble in your chest like at a concert and BLAST OFF! Hopefully it is a success!!
You've got to see these! So call us at Holiday Cottages: 757-336-6256, or make sure to visit the NASA Wallops website to see when the next launch is. CLICK: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home