NASA’s much-anticipated, long-delayed sounding rocket launch from Wallops Flight Center has been canceled again. NASA said Sunday evening on its Wallops Facebook page that the launch was canceled because of high wind. NASA will try again Monday.
People have waited outside or pulled up NASA’s live stream online to watch the launch repeatedly since May 31, only to see nothing. Reasons for canceling the launch have ranged from high winds, cloud cover, and boats in the hazard area, NASA said.
READ MORE: 1st in flight: Va. governor opens Wallops drone facility
The original launch date window was set to close June 18, but NASA said it has added June 19, 20 and 24 to the window.
The launch is rescheduled for no earlier than Monday, June 19, with a launch time window between 9:06 p.m. and 9:21 p.m., NASA said.
Officials will meet after a weather briefing Monday afternoon to make a decision on trying to launch Monday night.
Provided it can get off the ground, the flight of the Terrier Improved Malemute rocket is designed to test a new system of deploying canisters that release blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds, which are used in studying the ionosphere and aurora, scientists say.
People may be able to see the clouds along the mid-Atlantic from New York to North Carolina, NASA said.
Previously, the clouds could only be released in the immediate area of the payload. This time, a new ejection system will fire 10 canisters, each about the size of a soda can, between 6 and 12 miles away from the main payload.
The canisters are set to be deployed between four and five and a half minutes after launch. The clouds help scientists on the ground visually track particle motions in space. Scientists will use ground cameras based at Wallops and Duck, North Carolina, to monitor the results.
Using the new deployment method should allow scientists to study the particles over a much wider area, NASA said.
The vapor “tracers” consist of chemicals such as barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. They are to be released at altitudes 96-124 miles high and pose “absolutely no hazard” to residents along the mid-Atlantic coast, officials say.
Read or Share this story: http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/virginia/2017/06/17/8th-try-nasa-malemute-rocket/406325001/