NASA is all set and ready of deploying a small sounding rocket which will help create colorful artificial clouds. Initially scheduled for launch on Sunday, June 11, unexpected factors forced NASA to call off the event. Instead, the take off is now set for on June 12, Monday night.
Weather permitting, the clouds created by the rocket should be visible on the U.S. East Coast, from New York all the way to North Carolina, according to NASA’s statement.
NASA will be using a two-stage Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket. This will be taking off from the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility. Its Visitors Center will also be open for the event and will allow interested participants to watch the launch in person. The event will also be broadcast live.
Colorful Artificial Clouds to Help Study Particle Motions
If all goes according to plan and the sounding rocket will be able to take off, this should start deploying the content of 10 soft-drink size canisters in space some 5 minutes following liftoff. The cartridges contain strontium, cupric oxide, and barium vapor and will help form red and blue-green colorful artificial clouds.
“These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space,” stated NASA officials in a mission statement.
The authorities also added that this mission should help test a new technology. It will be analyzing the effects of a multicanister ejection system, which could help scientist gather more data spread over a larger area.
The sounding rocket should have a total flight time of around 8 minutes. As the main payload will probably be hitting the Atlantic some 90 miles off the Virginia Coast, it will remain there as authorities will not be recovering it.
This is not the mission’s first delay. Initially, the colorful artificial clouds should have been created last month. But a series of unexpectedly severe weather conditions already postponed the event four times.
The June 11 call off was caused by the possibility of boats straying into the launch range hazard area. This mission’s launch window spans all the week until June 18, and the next set date is Monday night. Its latest launch date is scheduled for in between 9:04 to 9:19 p.m. EDT.
Live coverage of the launch is set to begin at 8:30 and can be accessed on the Wallops Ustream site. Updates on the event are available on the Wallops’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
We have scrubbed launch attempt due to boats in hazard area. will attempt to launch June 12. The window for tomorrow is 9:04-9:19 p.m.
— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) June 12, 2017
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