NASA Wallops Launch Rescheduled for Monday Night - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wallops Launch Postponed Yet Again

NASA Wallops Launch Rescheduled for Monday Night

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(Photo credit: NASA) (Photo credit: NASA)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - A scheduled rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility has been postponed again. Sunday's scheduled launch had to be scrubbed due to boats in the launch range hazard area.
 
The launch has been rescheduled for Monday, June 12, with a launch window from 9:04 to 9:19 p.m.  
 
This was the fifth launch attempt for this mission. Previous attempts have scrubbed for various reasons: high winds, clouds in the area leading to poor science conditions, and boats in the hazard area. NASA said boaters in the launch area Sunday night impacted the space agency's ability to test a new ampoule ejection system for supporting studies of the ionosphere and aurora.

According to NASA spokesman Keith Koehler, NASA develops a hazard area around Wallops where components from a rocket launch could possibly land. Prior to a launch NASA contacts boaters to warn them to get out of the area for safety reasons.

Koehler said that while boaters are "usually cooperative," NASA does not have the authority to order them away. 

"We hope fishermen will cooperate and exit out," Koehler said. "But we have to work around it. Safety is our main priority and we won't launch it if we can't get the boats out of the way.
 
The multi-canister ampoule ejection system flying on this mission will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously able.
 
Canisters will deploy between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch releasing blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds. These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space. The clouds may be visible along the mid-Atlantic coastline from New York to North Carolina.
  
The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will open at 8 p.m. on launch day for viewing the flight.
 
Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. on the Wallops Ustream site. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites.
 

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