Sky gazers in the US must have enjoyed a mesmerising site when NASA successfully launched a sounding rocket that formed colourful artificial clouds. The NASA on Thursday launched the Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket from the its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch witnessed delays several times over the last 30 days.
10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can were ejected in space 9 to 19 kilometres away from the 300-kg main payload during the 8-minute flight.
The canisters spewed blue-green and red vapour that created artificial clouds that were visible to the public eye from New York to North Carolina.
These clouds or vapour tracers, during an ionosphere or aurora science mission, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.
The development of the multi-canister ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously possible when deploying the tracers just from the main payload.