NASA Launched A Sounding Rocket At Wallops Flight Facility In Virginia

Posted: Oct 7 2015, 10:16pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 8 2015, 10:16pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

NASA Launched a Sounding Rocket at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
Photo Credit: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

If you saw something light up the sky the size of a full moon, it was not a UFO. NASA launched a test rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. People living in the mid-Atlantic region could see it unload its test payload.

The launch tonight of a Black Brant IX suborbital rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility occurred at 7:07 p.m. ET. The primary purpose of the rocket launch was to test the performance of the second-stage Black Brant motor. Preliminary indications are that the motor performed as planned. Preliminary data analysis of the technology experiments on the payload is in progress.

Suborbital rockets, also called sounding rockets, are valuable tools for NASA to test technologies for flight and providing the test drive that is needed.

“The flight also provides an opportunity to test new technologies being developed for space missions and science conducted using sounding rockets,” said Cathy Hesh, technology manager in the Sounding Rocket Program Office at Wallops.

The ejection technologies tested today included a deployment system for forming vapor clouds in space for wind and ionosphere studies and ejectable sub-payloads testing data transmissions between sub and main-payloads during suborbital rocket flights, primarily during auroral studies.

Hesh said, “These two technologies will allow researchers to make real-time onsite measurements over a much wider area and increase the amount of data obtained than is currently possible during a suborbital rocket flight.”

During the test of the deployment system for the vapor clouds, four sub-payloads with mixtures of barium and strontium will be ejected from the main payload and the vapor will be deployed while the payload is descending. The test also included the release of vapor from two systems on the main payload during the descent portion of the flight.

NASA has released several photos of the sounding rocket launch from the Wallops Flight Facility on Facebook.

Here are some photos from our outstanding optical group of the Black Brant IX rocket launch tonight and one photo of the vapor cloud.Posted by NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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