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NASA Sounding Rocket launch with chemical release, Wallops Island VA

(Apologies to those who don't live on the US East Coast)

NASA is looking for the opportunity, beginning June 23, to launch rocket
experiments that will form nighttime clouds in a project intended to shed
light on space weather.

Three of the four rocket experiments, launched from the NASA Wallops Flight
Facility, Wallops Island, Va., will include the formation of milky, white
clouds. The clouds will allow scientists to view winds in a high and poorly
accessible layer of Earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere. The ionosphere
is strongly affected by solar activity, such as solar flares and UV radiation
from sunspots. The state of the ionosphere affects such things as radio
communications and Global Positioning System reception on Earth.

The clouds from each experiment may be visible, for up to 20 minutes, by
residents in the mid-Atlantic region, the lower northeastern United States and
South Carolina. The chemicals used to make the clouds pose no danger to the

All four launches will occur in one night between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., EDT,
June 23 through July 10. There will be about 90 minutes between the launch of
the first, second and third rockets. The third and fourth rockets will be
launched about 10 minutes apart. The actual period between launches will be
decided in real-time as the mission occurs.

The public can keep track of the progress of the mission by calling the NASA
Wallops Flight Facility launch status line at: 757/824-2050.

NASA will have a Web site with text updates and live video of the launches
during the mission at: http://www.wff.nasa.gov/webcast

(Full Text at http://www.wff.nasa.gov/pages/newfeaturestory1.html)

Dan Schultz N8FGV

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