US space agency NASA is all set to launch a sounding rocket named the Terrier-Improved Malemute, which will release beautiful artificial clouds in blue-green and red colours.
The Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket will test a new deployment system that will support space studies. The launch was previously scheduled for May 31 but was postponed following bad weather conditions.
The Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket will now be launched on Saturday, June 3 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility between 4:26 - 4:41 a.m. EDT ( 1:56-2.11 PM IST), NASA said.
"Clear skies are required at one of the ground stations to view blue-green and red artificial clouds that will be produced as part of the test. These artificial clouds may be seen from New York to North Carolina," NASA said.
10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can will be ejected by the rocket between 10 to 20 km from the rocket's main payload. These cans will release the vapour between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch.
The development of the multi-canister or ampule ejection system will help scientists to gather information over a much larger area than they previously managed to cover when deploying the vapour just from the main payload.
To view the vapour tracers, ground cameras will be installed at Wallops and in Duck, North Carolina.
"The vapour tracers are formed through the interaction of barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. The tracers will be released at altitudes 96 to 124 miles high and pose absolutely no hazard to residents along the mid-Atlantic coast," NASA said.
The nautical term ‘to sound’ provides name to sounding rockets, which means to take measurements. The sound rocket’s flight lasts short. It has a parabolic trajectory – the shape of a frown.
In the current mission, the total flight will last for about 8 minutes. The payload will land in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles from Wallops Island and will not be recovered.