Image: Energy Department mission launched from Wallops

Image: Energy Department mission launched from Wallops
Credit: NASA

A two-stage suborbital sounding rocket launched at 6:07 p.m. EDT for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration from NASA's launch range at Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket flew the payload to an altitude of 99 miles. The payload descended by parachute and landed in the Atlantic Ocean, 59 miles from Wallops Island. The payload was recovered and preliminary indications are that good data was received.

The flight is part of the HOTShot program, short for High Operational Tempo, which collects that benefits aerospace research and informs future weapon designs for the U.S. nuclear enterprise. Its non-nuclear scientific experiments evaluate prototypes and help develop high-fidelity computer models and mechanical flight simulators.

The next rocket launch from Wallops is targeted for no earlier than October 2021.


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