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NASA's Wallops' Rocket Launch That Would Lead To Colorful Clouds Over East Coast Foiled Again

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 05:20 AM EDT
Wallops Rocket Launch
Wallops rocket launch was canceled again due to cloudy skies.
(Photo : Zamm Live!/YouTube screenshot)

Those looking forward to the launch of the Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket on Tuesday night were in for a disappointment when the launch was canceled for the seventh time -- just after 9 p.m. The launch that was supposed to take off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was scrubbed due to cloudy conditions.

According to WTOP, the scheduled launch from the Eastern Shore on Monday and Tuesday were both canceled due to cloud cover. Incidentally, the launch was postponed on Sunday night due to the presence of boats in the vicinity of the launch range hazard area. Incidentally, the previous other launch attempts were canceled for numerous other reasons that included poor science conditions and high winds.

So, why is this rocket launch highly anticipated by the public in general? It is because once the sounding rocket is successfully launched, 10 canisters will be deployed in the air -- approximately 6 to 12 miles from it. Subsequently, the canisters will cause red and blue-green vapor forming artificial clouds.

The main mission behind the technology demonstration flight is to test a new ejection system for the canisters. This will help in future studies of the Earth’s auroras and ionospheres. The experiment will also enable researchers on the ground to track the motions of particles. Ground cameras at Wallops and Duck, North Carolina, would help in viewing the vapor tracers. NASA says the vapor tracers may be visible from New York to North Carolina, and as far inland as Charlottesville, Virginia, after the successful launch of the rocket.

The American space agency has been trying to launch this potentially dazzling mission all month. The launch window opened on June 1 and will close on June 18. Space.com reported that the next launch opportunity would be on Wednesday, June 14 at 9:05 p.m. EDT. 

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