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
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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
Exclusive: Google's "New" Search Icon Was Created in 2008 by Russian Designer
September 2, 2015, 6:45 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Windows 10 Hits 75 Million Users; Grows Nearly 4x as Fast as Windows 7
August 28, 2015, 10:22 PM
Microsoft's Flagship Windows10 Lumias Rumored to Pack 25 Minute Charge Times
August 31, 2015, 8:13 PM
"KeyRaider" Hits 225,000+ iPhones, Mobile Malware no Longer Just a Droid Thing
September 1, 2015, 11:50 PM
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