NASA Will Try Launch of Rocket That May Be Visible Over Seacoast
The fifth time was not the charm for the launch of the Black Brant XII rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and the sixth might not be either.
The launch was scrubbed again on Tuesday night because of cloudy skies in Bermuda and Wallops, according to NASA, along with the upper level winds not being within the required limits for a safe launch. They'll give it another try on Wednesday just after 8 p.m. but the forecast is not looking good.
Rain will be exiting the Virginia coast sometime between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. but clouds and upper-level winds will continue to be an issue.
If the rocket goes up Wednesday the Seacoast will have a good view, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Margaret Curtis.
"It does look clearer than it was last night with very few clouds around. Hopefully it can happen and we can see it," Curtis told Seacoast Current.
NASA said the window of launch is open through Sunday.
What rocket is being launched?
A four-stage Black Brant XII rocket is scheduled to be launched at 8:04 p.m., just after sunset, with a launch window of 40 minutes. The launch was originally scheduled for Friday but was scrubbed due to weather every night since.
Where can I see the rocket?
It could be visible over much of the eastern United States.
What you'll see will be the release of barium vapor 9 or 10 minutes into the launch forming two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 30-60 seconds in northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire including the immediate Seacoast and 60 to 90 seconds in southern Maine.
Rocket emissions cause weird colors
Immediately after the vapor is released, spherical clouds will form which are a mixture of green and violet and last about 30 seconds. After exposure to sunlight the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color.
The barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health.
Livestream video of rocket launch
Live coverage of the mission will be available on the Wallops IBM video site (beginning at 7:40 p.m.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH