Launch madness at Wallops in March - '5 in 5'

Mar 05, 2012
The map of the mid-Atlantic region of the US shows the projected area where the rockets may be visible while the motors are burning through flight. It also shows the flight profile of each of the five rockets. Credit: Credit: NASA/Wallops

Launch madness will hit the east coast in March as NASA launches five rockets in approximately five minutes to study the high-altitude jet stream from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) is a Heliophysics mission that will gather information needed to better understand the process responsible for the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth.

The high-altitude jet stream is higher than the one commonly reported in . The winds found in this upper jet stream typically have speeds of 200 to well over 300 mph and create rapid transport from the Earth's mid latitudes to the polar regions. This jet stream is located in the same region where strong electrical currents occur in the ionosphere. It is therefore a region with a lot of electrical turbulence, of the type that can adversely affect satellite and .

The sounding rockets being used for the mission are two Terrier-Improved Malemutes , two Terrier-Improved Orions and one Terrier-Oriole.

The five rockets will release a chemical tracer that will form milky, white tracer clouds that allow scientists and the public to "see" the winds in space. In addition, two of the rockets will have instrumented payloads, to measure the pressure and temperature in the atmosphere at the height of the high-speed winds.

Explore further: Memory reformat planned for Opportunity Mars rover

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

JOULE II rockets launch with success

Jan 22, 2007

From Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks, four NASA rockets launched into an aurora display over northern Alaska, starting at 3:29 a.m. Alaska Standard Time. Scientists hope to learn more about electrical heating ...

Four rockets launch from Poker Flat Research Range

Feb 19, 2009

Four NASA rockets launched from Poker Flat Research Range during a three-hour span on the morning of Feb. 18, 2009. The rockets, carrying payloads that emitted glowing vapor trails that help scientists study ...

Clemson rocket launches test Alaskan auroras

Mar 16, 2007

It may have been 40 degrees below zero at the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska, but aurora and weather came together one recent winter night in a perfect match for Clemson University researchers and students ...

Recommended for you

Caterpillar comet poses for pictures en route to Mars

2 hours ago

Now that's pure gorgeous. As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sidles towards its October 19th encounter with Mars, it's passing a trio of sumptuous deep sky objects near the south celestial pole this week. ...

Hoisting a telescope with helium

2 hours ago

Many a child has forgotten to hold tight to the string of a helium balloon only to have it escape and rise until it disappeared in the glare of the sun. Helium balloons want to rise, but launching a balloon ...

User comments : 0