Rocket launch visible in DC region pushed back to Saturday

Northrop Grumman Antares CRS-13 Prelaunch
In this image provided by NASA, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is seen at sunrise on Pad-0A, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. High wind delayed Friday’s launch to the International Space Station. It has been rescheduled for Saturday. (Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via AP)

Those hoping to see a Valentine’s Day rocket launch will have to wait just a bit longer.

For the third time, NASA said it’s delaying the launch of a rocket headed for the International Space Station from the the Wallops Flight Facility.

The launch of the 13th Northrop Grumman resupply mission is now at 3:21 p.m. Saturday. NASA said the scheduled launch Friday afternoon was called off because of upper-level winds.

The weather was OK at the launch pad on Wallops Island, Virginia, but upper-level winds exceeded safety limits, The Associated Press reported. The delivery includes nearly 4 tons of experiments and gear, as well as candy and cheese for the three station astronauts.

The original launch on Sunday, Feb. 9 was scrubbed after off-nominal readings in ground support equipment. That try was interrupted by pad equipment concerns, then bad weather moved in.

The Cygnus cargo ship is the S.S. Robert H. Lawrence, named for the first ever African American selected as an astronaut.

The launch and mission will be carried live by NASA.

Depending on where you are in the D.C. area, you might be able watch the rocket ascending into the sky with your own eyes. The visibility map for the area covers quite a bit of territory.

The visibility map is the same for this launch as it was for Feb. 9.

Visibility map for Friday afternoon’s rocket launch. (Courtesy NASA)

Launch updates can be obtained via NASA Wallops Flight Facility Twitter and Facebook. There is also a nifty launch app, “NASA WFF Mission Status Center,” you can check.

Weather prospects are very good for launch and seeing the rocket ascend into the sky.

Oh, and with such good DMV weather, you can help out astronomers in measuring light pollution in your location.

Follow my Twitter @SkyGuyinVA and daily blog to keep up with the latest news in astronomy and space exploration. You can email me at

WTOP’s Jack Moore and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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