NASA Launches Five Rockets to Study High-Level Jet Stream Winds
March 27, 2012 2:09 PM
comment(s) - last by
ATREX's glowing clouds
U.S. citizens from Massachusetts to North Carolina said they could see the streaks early this morning
After many delays, NASA has finally sent five suborbital sounding rockets near the edge of space on a mission to study high-level jet stream winds.
The first launch attempt was March 15, but radio frequency interference on one of the five rockets put everything on hold. Since that night, weather conditions have prevented
the five rockets
from taking flight.
This morning, the five rockets were finally able to launch from their pads at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. They took flight just before 5 a.m., each launching 80 seconds after the previous.
The $4 million mission, called the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX), aims to study high-level jet stream winds by making artificial glowing clouds near the edge of space. These jet streams, which streak the sky at altitudes of 60 to 65 miles, are much higher than jet streams found in typical weather forecasts at about 6 miles above Earth, and NASA researchers hope to
better understand them through this study
Each rocket was able to do this by releasing a chemical called trimethyl aluminum (TMA), which is a nontoxic organometallic compound that is illuminated by the sun at high altitudes.
When traveling in the rockets, TMA, which is a liquid at room temperature, is kept under pressure. In the Earth's upper atmosphere, TMA that is released while evaporate while the rest freezes into solids. When TMA hit an altitude of 62 miles,
and increased evaporation along with a chemiluminous process and sunlight caused the particles to glow.
The end result was several white trails across the dark sky. U.S. citizens from Massachusetts to North Carolina said they could see the streaks early this morning.
"The launches and clouds were reported to be seen from as far south as Wilmington, N.C.; west to Charlestown, W. Va.; and north to Buffalo, N.Y.," said a NASA report.
NASA also used time-lapse photography, which was set up from North Carolina and New Jersey sites, to catch the drift of the cloud trails and determine the speed and direction of these winds at such altitudes. Researchers will also keep an eye on the rate of diffusion of the trails to see how fast the TMA will disappear.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Can you imagine the "chem trail" brigade.
3/27/2012 2:22:34 PM
They will be having fits...
RE: Can you imagine the "chem trail" brigade.
3/27/2012 2:48:40 PM
it would have been a riot if the president had come on the air shortly afterwards to state "we are not under attack.. thank you" and left it at that
man.. that really give them something to spin over
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
NASA Administrator Announces Mars Mission; Stresses Importance of ISS
April 8, 2011, 7:30 AM
Researchers Study Sex and Pregnancy in Space, Say it Will be Hard
February 14, 2011, 10:48 AM
NASA's Record-Setting Solid Rocket Enjoys Successful Test-Fire
September 1, 2010, 9:26 AM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Why the U.S. Won't be Able to Ban Google's New Huawei Marshmallow Flagship Phone
October 3, 2015, 5:27 PM
Apple's First Fixes to iOS 9 Land w/ iOS 9.0.1 Release
September 23, 2015, 6:11 PM
Apple Watch Commands 2 in 3 Smart Watch Sales, WatchOS 2 Sweetens the Pitch
September 20, 2015, 6:07 PM
Tag Heuer Admits Its $1,800 Smartwatch Was Inspired By Apple -- Price-Wise
September 30, 2015, 6:32 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information