NASA Posstpones ‘Colorful’ Rocket Launch to June 11

For the fourth time, NASA on Sunday postponed the launch of a sounding rocket which was to release blue, green and red artificial clouds in view of their impact on testing the new ampoule ejection system designed to support studies of the ionosphere and aurora.

“While the launch window runs through June 6, forecast weather is not conducive for supporting the test mission through the remainder of the window. The launch is now scheduled for not earlier than June 11, pending range availability,” NASA said in a statement.

The rocket was designed to eject 10 canisters measuring a soft drink can, between 10 to 20km from the rocket’s main payload. They are meant to release the vapour between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch. The experiment helps scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.

The development of the multi-canister or ampule ejection system will help scientists to design similar cansters for a much larger area than previously allowed when deploying the vapour just from the main payload.

Clear skies are required for ground cameras at Wallops and in Duck, North Carolina, to view the vapour tracers. NASA will try again on June 11, for the fifth time to send the experiment rocket.

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