NASA: Rocket Launch Carrying Student Experiments Successful From - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NASA: Rocket Launch Carrying Student Experiments Successful From Wallops Island

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(Photo: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility via Facebook/Allison Stancil) (Photo: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility via Facebook/Allison Stancil)
A group of students whose experiments were on board the sounding rocket. (Photo: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility via Facebook) A group of students whose experiments were on board the sounding rocket. (Photo: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility via Facebook)
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - NASA says the launch of a Terrior-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket was successful early Saturday morning. NASA says the rocket blasted off from Wallops Flight Facility at 7:01 a.m. Saturday. 

The launch was originally scheduled for March, but NASA says high seas prevented it from happening.

The rocket carried experiments developed by undergraduate students from the Universities of Colorado, Northwest Nazarene, Puerto Rico, Nebraska and Virginia Tech. NASA says the experiments were developed through the RockSat-X program, a collaboration with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

NASA says the experiments will examine technology development, microgravity science and the search for life in the upper atmosphere and near space during the suborbital mission, which will reach an altitude of nearly 94 nautical miles.

Phil Eberspeaker, chief of the Sounding Rocket Program Office at Wallops, said, “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium in providing students from institutions across the United States the ability to fly their experiments in space.”

“This is the fourth flight of RockSat-X experiments. The quality of the experiments developed by the students shows they are prepared for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers,” he said.

RockSat-X is the third tier in a multi-phase NASA program, according to Wallops Flight Facility officials.  The program provides flight experiences for community college and university students to improve their skills in developing experiments and payloads for spaceflight.

Wallops officials say the experiments by the students at Virginia Tech aim to test two mechanisms: the deployment of the VT Space Pressure Sensor Aperture Cover Release Mechanism, which utilizes a thermal cutting device that releases an intricate latch system for use in future projects, and an Optical Nitric Oxide Sensor, which will be used to determine NO concentration at high altitudes. Officials say the experiment also has a system of cameras for recording panoramic video which will be used to create a virtual reality simulation of the flight.

NASA says the next launch from Wallops is a Terrier-Improved Orion. It is scheduled for the early morning on June 25

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