NASA To Launch Colorful Artificial Clouds Tonight Through Sounding Rocket
NASA To Launch Colorful Artificial Clouds Tonight Through Sounding Rocket
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12 June, 2017, 20:12
As per a report in space.com, the mission is for testing a new multi-canister ejection system which allows the researchers to collect data over a much wider area than has been earlier possible.
Blue-green and red clouds could be visible in the predawn sky from NY to North Carolina, thanks to a NASA rocket due to be launched from Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia.
NASA stated that the canisters will deploy between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch, releasing blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds.
The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will open at 8 p.m. Monday for viewing the flight. The launch could be rescheduled for any time between this week and June 18. If you live along the mid-Atlantic coast, take a walk outside a little after 9:00 pm ET and look up.
The clouds, or vapor tracers, are formed "through the interaction of barium, strontium, and cupric-oxide", according to NASA.
The rocket is expected to release its payload between 96 and 124 miles above the Earth, according to NASA.
The mission aims to study the ionosphere and aurora-by creating these colorful fake clouds, scientists will be able to visually track the motions of particles in space.
This is not the mission's first delay.
Map showing the projected visibility of the vapor tracers.
The last scheduled launch was yesterday - but the boats had wandered into the hazard area, where debris could potentially have caused damage or injury to the people aboard. Its latest launch date is scheduled for in between 9:04 to 9:19 p.m. EDT. No worries - NASA has you covered with a livestream beginning at 3:35 a.m., and continuous updates on the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites.
The launch had already been called off several times previously due to various reasons, including, high winds, clouds in the area leading to poor science conditions, and boats in the hazard area.
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