Whether you’re a hardcore space junky or just your average joe, watching a Nasa rocket launch is exciting to behold! You can view launches from NASA Wallops Visitor Center, or from Chincoteague Island, itself!
The NASA Wallops Visitor Center on Wallops Island, Virginia, is just ten minutes from Chincoteague Island. The center contains interactive exhibits highlighting the history of Wallops Flight Facility, one of the oldest launch sites on the planet! The facility is free to visit and will have you feeling like an astronaut, yourself!
Best of all, however, is the chance to see a live space launch!
Wallops Flight Facility continues to be an active NASA launch base, with scheduled launches throughout the year. If you’re lucky enough to be nearby when one is scheduled, you have a variety of ways to watch it!
The NASA Wallops Visitor Center grounds are open for most launches. The visitor center is only 4 miles from the Wallops Island launch pads and provides a clear view of all the launches, from the ground to sky. Parking is first come/first served, however. If you plan on watching a launch from here, an early start of at least 30 minutes to an hour would be wise.
You can also head on inside the center for a view from their multi-purpose auditorium. The NASA Visitor Center auditorium is unlike any other you have seen. It has a nine-television, high-definition flat-screen display, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment. Not only will you witness the launch but live camera feeds will also take you inside the action at the launch pad!
Finally, you can avoid all the hustle and bustle of the center entirely by watching the launch from Chincoteague Island. Suggested viewing locations include Robert Reed waterfront park on Main Street, located behind the Misty statue. You can also get a great view from south Main Street to Curtis Merritt harbor. The bike trail adjacent to Assateague bridge also offers excellent views of launches.
NASA Wallops Visitor Center
Building J20 Route 175, Chincoteague Rd, Wallops Island, VA 23337
Open daily, July 1 through August 31
and Tuesdays through Saturdays, September through June,
10am to 4pm
For more details, launch schedules, and more: www.nasa.gov/content/wallops-visitor-center/
NASA Wallops Visitor Center Lodging
1848 Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast would love to be your home away from home whenever you’re on Chincoteague Island. Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast offers air conditioning, wireless internet, wonderful daily treats, a game room, beach gear such as bikes, backpacks, beach chairs, and boogie boards, as well as a concierge service that can assist you in booking all aspects your Chincoteague vacation.