BOSTON (CBS) – Hey, what’s that thing in the sky? A bird, an airplane? No, it’s a missile!
It’s not possible to see a NASA rocket speed across the Atlantic every day, but this Friday night could be your shot exactly!
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NASA will launch a Black Brant XII Sounding Rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia this Friday at 7:58 pm. When the sky is clear, the start should be visible to the people of the east coast.
Let’s step back a little. . . What exactly is this rocket launch about? Let’s get geeky for a minute:
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The mission is called KiNet-X and the goal is to investigate how energy and momentum are transported between regions of space that are magnetically connected. . . simple stuff you know HA!
This study will help scientists better understand things like aurors and how they are formed and how they move from place to place.
To investigate this, the missile will release barium vapor at an altitude of over 200 miles north of Bermuda approximately 9 to 10 minutes after it begins its flight. Don’t worry, this vapor is not harmful to the environment or the public. In fact, it’s probably not even visible to the human eye. However, NASA will investigate this vapor release using all kinds of diagnostic instruments on board the rocket. NASA calls this “a very simple experiment. . . This allows us to quantify the flow of energy to electrons. “Typical day in the office.
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If you want to catch a glimpse of the rocket on Friday evening, it should be visible in our southeast between 30 and 60 seconds after takeoff (assuming the launch is punctually at 7:58 p.m.). Clouds could be a factor here, however, as there is likely a strip of rain stretching from the mid-Atlantic to our west to the Hudson River Valley. If the weather itself interrupts and aborts the start (possible), several further start windows will run until May 16. We will keep you posted!