BOSTON (CBS) – Hey, what’s that thing in the sky? A bird, an airplane? No, it’s a missile!
It is not possible to see a NASA rocket racing across the Atlantic every day, but that was the plan on Friday, but due to the Virginia weather, the mission has been postponed to Saturday.
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Well the mission was scrubbed Saturday night as the winds on the upper level were not within the limits necessary for a safe launch. Therefore the mission will be postponed again to Sunday.
LAUNCH SCRUBBED ❗ Today’s rocket launch has been postponed to no earlier than 8:03 p.m. Sunday, May 9th. The launch has been postponed because the upper level winches are not within the limits required for a safe launch. The starting window for Sunday runs until 8.43 p.m.
– NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) May 9, 2021
NASA will launch a Black Brant XII Sounding Rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 8:03 pm. Sunday, May 9th, with the start window until 8.43 p.m. If the sky is clear, the start should be visible to the people on the east coast.
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Let’s step back a little. . . What exactly is this rocket launch about? Let’s get geeky for a minute.
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 not even likely to be 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. “
However, if you hope to catch a glimpse of the rocket on Sunday evening, it should be visible in our southeast between 30 and 60 seconds after takeoff (assuming the launch is punctually at 8:03 p.m.). Clouds could be a factor here, however, before a gang of rain hits New England on late Sunday.
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If the weather interrupts the start and breaks off again, several more start windows will run until May 16. We will keep you posted!