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NASA rocket launch to be visible from Ocean City on Thursday

A NASA rocket launch scheduled at Wallops Flight Facility on Thursday morning will provide a show as far away as the Maryland and Delaware beaches.

The space agency is launching a research rocket with 17 experiments on board. The experiments were designed by university researchers and students across the country, NASA said in a news release.

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The launch is scheduled for some time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday, with backup launches Friday and Saturday.

The NASA visitors center on Wallops Island, Va., will open at 5 a.m. on the launch day for spectators. It will also be visible across a radius that includes Ocean City and Salisbury and extends nearly to Rehoboth Beach, Del., and St. Mary's City in southern Maryland. The further away a spectator is, the higher the rocket will have to travel for it to become visible, as this launch visibility map shows.

The rocket is what is called a suborbital sounding rocket, which are designed to take measurements and conduct experiments as they are launched.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.

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