And Now for a Word About That OTHER COTS Rocket…

Artist's conception of Obital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II rocket set for launch at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

WALLOPS: Huge rocket to make its way on Delmarva highways this week

People traveling on Delmarva’s highways Wednesday night and Thursday morning may encounter an unusual sight that is evidence of the area’s growing space investment.

A 95-foot-long tractor-trailer specially constructed by an Ohio company will be transporting a full-size mockup of the first stage of Orbital Sciences’ Taurus II rocket roughly 150 miles across portions of three states — from the Wilmington, Del., port to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The company is conducting a trial run of the route in preparation for the Aug. 20 arrival by ship in Wilmington of the actual rocket stage from the Ukraine, where it is being built by rocket companies Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash….

A demonstration flight of the 125-foot tall Taurus II rocket is scheduled to happen about a year from now. Orbital Sciences in December 2008 was awarded a $1.9 billion, eight-year government contract under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program to take cargo to and from the International Space Station. Orbital is contracted for eight flights to deliver a minimum of 20 metric tons of cargo to the space station.

Read the full story.