NASA will be launching a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Center on the eastern shore of Virginia if the weather permits. The rocket is called the Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket and it will be allowing scientists to analyze the ionosphere and the aurora. NASA has been attempting lift-off since May 31st and have encountered problems due to the weather. High winds, and cloudiness seem to be the main issues, but boaters in the launch area were a problem as well. Launch attempts have been made three consecutive nights this week, but with clouds in the area and a very small time frame, NASA was forced to scrub the launch until June 16th at 9:05 PM EST. The reason why scientists need a clear night to launch the rocket is because the rocket has 10 small canisters (about the size of a soda can) attached that will deploy into the air to allow scientists to visually track particle motion in space. These canisters will form artificial clouds that can be seen from the ground stations in either Wallops or Duck, North Carolina. Clear skies are required from either of the two stations for a successful launch. Due to the forecast of incoming inclement weather, NASA is taking a two-day break from launching since June 13th was too cloudy at both locations.
The map above shows who will be able to view the colors of the artificial clouds (blue, green and red) versus who will be able to only see the launch. If you are not in the viewing area, however, NASA will be broadcasting live from their NASA TV site approximately 30 minutes prior to launch.
To stay updated on weather news around the world, click here!
ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell