NASA is trying to launch a small rocket to create multicolored clouds in the sky

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/12/15783752/nasa-sounding-rocket-artificial-clouds-watch-launch

Tonight, NASA will attempt again to launch a small rocket from the coast of Virginia — one aimed at creating multicolored clouds high in the sky. Just a few minutes after launch, the rocket will release canisters filled with various chemicals, forming green and red artificial clouds that may be seen along the US East Coast. It’s all part of a plan to study how particles move in the upper atmosphere, which could help us better study the aurorae and the parts of our atmosphere that are electrically charged by solar and cosmic radiation.

Don’t worry, the chemicals the rocket is releasing are in no way toxic to your health. They’re vapor tracers — gases that create visible clouds high in the sky. They’re made of barium, lithium, and tri-methyl aluminum. Those chemicals may not immediately sound familiar but you have likely seen them in action before — in fireworks. And fireworks usually release a whole lot more of these gases than a typical NASA mission, according to the space agency.

NASA has been deploying vapor tracers for a while now using sounding rockets, the small vehicles designed to take instruments to sub-orbital space. This mission will launch on a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket, though NASA is testing out a new method for getting those vapor tracers into the upper atmosphere. Normally, the tracers were released directly from the rocket’s main payload, but this rocket is carrying up a specialized contraption called the “multi-canister ampoule ejection system.” After launch, the instrument will fling out multiple canisters filled with the tracers, in order to cover a wider area of the sky.

A total of 10 canisters, each about the size of a soda can, will be deployed about 4 to 5.5 minutes after launch, NASA says. The multicolored clouds they create will give researchers visual cues to help them track the movements of particles at high altitudes and test out if our models of these particle motions are correct. And these clouds should be pretty high up, too, since the canisters will release the tracers between 96 and 124 miles up. If skies are clear, the clouds could be seen from New York to North Carolina.

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hmm..

“A total of 10 canisters, each about the size of a soda can, will be deployed about 4 to 5.5 minutes after launch, NASA says. The multicolored clouds they create will give researchers visual cues to help them track the movements of particles at high altitudes and test out if our models of these particle motions are correct.”

401

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~ by seeker401 on June 19, 2017.

4 Responses to “NASA is trying to launch a small rocket to create multicolored clouds in the sky”

  1. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  2. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/29/us/nasa-colorful-clouds-successful-wallops-launch/index.html

    After multiple failed attempts, NASA’s Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket lit up the sky with blue-green and red artificial clouds from North Carolina to New York early Thursday morning. The agency is calling it “an early Independence Day fireworks display.”

    The rocket launched from Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s eastern shore at 4:25 a.m. and reached an altitude of 118 miles. The flight lasted eight minutes. Four to five minutes in, it deployed 10 canisters about the size of soft drink cans, each containing a colored vapor that forms artificial, luminescent clouds.

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