This is Why People Know So Little About Wallops

NASA tests Alternate Launch Abort System for Astronaut Escape

"NASA has successfully demonstrated an alternate system for future astronauts to escape their launch vehicle. A simulated launch of the Max Launch Abort System, or MLAS, took place Wednesday morning at 6:26 a.m. at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. The unpiloted launch tested an alternate concept for safely propelling a future spacecraft and its crew away from a problem on the launch pad or during ascent. The MLAS consists of four solid rocket abort motors inside a bullet-shaped composite fairing attached to a full-scale mockup of the crew module."

Keith's earlier 8:25 am note: MLAS (Max Launch Abort System) was launched this morning from Wallops. But who knew? Other than several Twitter posts by Wallops PAO (if you don't see them as they flash by you miss them) there was no media advisory, press release, or any other outreach to media. ESMD did nothing as well. I have requested (multiple times) to get these things from them. Now there is nothing to be found online at Wallops.

Curiously this page at Wallops says updated yesterday says "Posted by RCC on 2009-07-07 at 13:30:39 EDT The next rocket launch web cast from Wallops Island is scheduled for early August." August? No mention of any webcast for the next day's event. Why webcast the launch eh? The launch was 2 hours ago and there are no photos or video - or any mention whatsoever about the launch. Yet the Virginia Pilot (apparently Wallops PAO plays local favorites) has managed to get a story and a photo online.

People at Wallops often complain that they are overlooked, or seen by many as some remote NASA outpost where they launch small rockets and host those useless training sessions that civil servants have to go to. When their own PAO falls down on the job like this it is small wonder why Wallops has such a lackluster and inaccurate public image outside its local zip code.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 8, 2009 10:25 AM.

Today's Video: Astronaut Mike Gernhardt: Flying a submersible - just like riding a bicycle was the previous entry in this blog.

Today's Video: MLAS Launch is the next entry in this blog.

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