Congressman Rigell disappointed over rocket disaster

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-R) is expressing disappointment, along with NASA’s senior leadership and Orbital Sciences Corp., over the failed Antares launch.

Ike Rigell on the far right (Photo courtesy Scott Rigell)
Ike Rigell on the far right (Photo courtesy Scott Rigell)

“We wanted to see it go straight up into the heavens, and when it exploded as it did, just seconds after liftoff. We grieved with the crew there, the ground-based crew, but also were relieved all the personnel was safe,” he told

The congressman represents the Eastern Shore, which is where the rocket launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Rigell said his dad, Ike Rigell, now 91-years-old, was involved in the precursor to NASA, an Army initiative called the Redstone Arsenal Project. His father then went on to have a lengthy career as a NASA engineer.

Congressman Rigell recalled watching space missions and powerful Saturn rockets, as a child: “Growing up in his home, some of my earliest memories were of watching the Apollo Rocket launches, and they’d literally shake the earth,” he said.

After this disaster Tuesday night, Congressman Rigell told us, “the key now, of course, is to have the right response to it, to press forward, find out what went wrong, and I’m confident they will.”

He also hopes this will not “discourage us from the importance of venturing into space.”

Congressman Rigell is seeking re-election and is facing Democratic challenger Suzanne Patrick at the polls on Election Day next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s