Did You Know: Wallops Island, Virginia

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NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is located on a barrier island.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).
Story adapted from Image of the Day post by Adam Voiland: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/84008/launching-from-wallops-island

  • Image of Wallops Island, Virginia: Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8
  • Image of Minotaur-1 rocket: NASA, Wallops Flight Facility
  • Image of Wallops Island, Virginia: NASA
  • Image of beach replenishment: US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Written by Kathryn Porter

Text, Did you know? Wallops Island, Virginia.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is located on a barrier island. Picture of Wallops Island, Virginia, by Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8.
Text, Wallops Island is a barrier island off the coast of Virginia. It includes part of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which consists of research laboratories, air strips, and launch pads. Wallops Island is at the bottom left. Assateague Island is at bottom right. Chincoteague Island is at top right. Wattsville, Virginia is at top left. The launch facility is at bottom left, and Wallops Geophysical Laboratory connects the Island to the mainland. Text, More than 16,000 commercial and government rockets have lifted off from Wallops since it was established in 1945. Minotaur 1 rocket photo, by NASA Wallops Flight Facility. Text, Like all barrier islands, Wallops is subject to erosion from wind and water.
To protect launch pads and other infrastructure from erosion, stone seawalls have been constructed along much of the shoreline. Wallops Island, Virginia photo by NASA, with a seawall indicated at center right. Beach replenishment photo, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Text, In addition, sand is periodically spread over the beach to restore and reinforce the shore.