June 13 – NASA Postpones Sounding Rocket Launch; Now Launching No Earlier Than June 15
The launch of a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket scheduled for June 13 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility has been postponed due to clouds impacting the ability to test a new ampoule ejection system designed to support studies of the ionosphere and aurora.
Weather is not conducive for a launch attempt June 14. The launch is now scheduled for no earlier than Thursday, June 15, with a launch window from 9:05 to 9:20 p.m.
NASA has two ground stations—at Wallops and Duck, N.C.—to view blue-green and red artificial clouds that will be produced as part of the test. Clear skies are required at one of the two ground stations for this test. Clouds obscured both viewing sites for the June 13 launch attempt.
The June 13 attempt was the seventh for this mission. Previous scrubs have been due to a variety of issues, such as high winds, clouds, and boats in the hazard area.
The multi-canister ampoule ejection system flying on this mission will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously able during a sounding rocket mission.
Canisters will deploy during the rocket’s ascent and they will release blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch. 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. A Facebook live is also planned beginning at 8:50 p.m. on www.facebook.com/NASAWFF. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites.