NASA Plans Launch for Tomorrow From Va. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NASA Plans Launch for Tomorrow From Va.

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (WBOC/AP)- High cirrus clouds postponed Monday's launch of two sounding rockets from NASA's Wallops Island Facility on the Eastern Shore in Virginia. The next attempt for these rockets is currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, between 9:30-11:30 a.m.

The two rockets, a Black Brant V and a Terrier-Improved Orion, will launch 15-seconds apart in support of the Daytime Dynamo experiment, which is a joint project between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

NASA said the project is designed to study a global electrical current called the dynamo, which sweeps through the ionosphere. The ionosphere stretches from about 30 to 600 miles above Earth and plays a crucial role in our day-to-day lives, according to NASA. For example, radio waves bounce off it as they travel from sender to receiver, and communications signals from satellites travel through it as well. A disruption in the ionosphere can disrupt these signals.

The first rocket scheduled for launch is a single-stage Black Brant V, which will collect data on the neutral and charged particles it travels through. The second rocket is a two-stage Terrier-Improved Orion. It will shoot out a long trail of lithium gas to track how the upper atmospheric wind varies with altitude. These winds are believed to be the drivers of the dynamo currents. Clear skies are required to view these trails using ground-based cameras.

The rockets will be visible to residents in the Wallops region. The NASA Visitor Center will open at 8 a.m. on launch day for viewing the launches. The Wallops USTREAM channel will broadcast the launch live beginning at 8:30 a.m. on launch day.

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