BOSTON (CBS) – There is keen interest in Wallops Island, Virginia to see a Black Brant XII launch missile launched on Friday night.
Unfortunately Wallops Islands has rain and thunderstorms on Friday evening. Therefore, NASA has postponed the launch to Saturday, May 8th at 8:02 p.m.
This seems ideal as more people can witness the streaks across the southeastern sky over the weekend. However, southern New England will have to contend with a large cloud cover on Saturday night. A clearing may occur after spotty afternoon showers, but it will be difficult to see this event from Massachusetts.
And if you thought there was a chance that start would be postponed to Mother’s Day, Saturday is ideal for Wallops Island.
Despite our cloud cover, it is still helpful to have the information to see this when Mother Nature messes things up! When the clouds disperse, residents from New York City to Manchester, New Hampshire can see the missile about a minute after launch.
Once the missile reaches an altitude of more than 200 miles, it will release barium vapor about 9 to 10 minutes after it begins flight north of Bermuda. Rest assured, this vapor is not harmful to us or the environment. The vapor release helps NASA examine the diagnostic tools on the rocket. Their main job is to give scientists an insight into how energy and momentum are transported between magnetically connected regions in space – real science! We know a fine example of this phenomenon: aurors.
Be sure to contact the WBZ-TV weather team for ongoing updates on this launch.