NASA successfully launches rocket which creates colorful artificial clouds
NASA has successfully launched a sounding rocket that created colourful artificial clouds visible in the US skies.
The NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was successfully launched yesterday, from the US space agencys Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, after being delayed multiple times over the last 30 days.
During the 8-minute flight, 10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can were ejected in space, 9 to 19 kilometres away from the 300-kg main payload.
The canisters deployed blue-green and red vapour that formed artificial clouds visible from New York to North Carolina.
During an ionosphere or aurora science mission, these clouds, or vapour tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.
The development of the multi-canister ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously possible when deploying the tracers just from the main payload.
This comes after NASA unveiled an “out of this world” futuristic Mars rover concept vehicle to inspire young people to want to learn more about its plans to send humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s. While this exact rover is not expected to operate on Mars, one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover that astronauts will drive on the Red Planet, NASA scientists wrote in a blog post this week.
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