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Fire in the sky: Rocket launch might be visible Friday in Pa. skies

rocket launch

This map shows the regions of visibility for Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket nighttime launch scheduled for 8:51 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 from Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch may be visible from a wide region of the U.S. East Coast. Color bands denote the time after launch (in seconds) the rocket’s plume may be visible.

(Orbital ATK)

If you see a flash of flame shoot cross the sky on Friday night, don’t panic and call Homeland Security.

You’ll simply be watching a privately-owned space freighter shooting into orbit.

The two-stage Antares rocket carrying an unmanned Cygnus cargo ship is to be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va., at 8:51 p.m.

If the weather is clear, the launch should be visible to residents all along the East Coast, according to Space.com. In the midstate, the rocket should become visible just above the southern horizon about 2 minutes after launch.

Philadelphians might be able to see it 90 seconds after lift-off. It should appear in the sky around Pittsburgh roughly 3 minutes after it blasts off.

This will be the sixth trip the Orbital Sciences ship will make to resupply the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.

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