ORLANDO, Fla. – People along the East Coast and Bermuda could be in for a treat Friday evening as NASA attempts to launch its KiNET-X sounding rocket.
Friday will mark the sixth attempt to launch the rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island facility in Virginia. The launch has been scrubbed five straight nights due to weather.
Another attempt comes at 8:02 p.m. Friday. There is a 40-minute launch window.
What makes this launch so different from the ones Central Floridians are accustom to on the Space Coast is that this rocket will release vapor tracers high up in the atmosphere to study winds.
But why? 🤔
Scientist use vapor tracers primarily to study atmospheric winds in upper atmosphere and ionosphere. When released after launch, the tracers make it possible to directly observe the winds. The vapors release harmlessly between 217-249 miles above the Earth. pic.twitter.com/6i7b9aAW6f
— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) May 7, 2021
The materials that make up the vapor tracers are the same ones that make fireworks colorful. All of those materials are harmless to us.
While Bermuda will have the best seat in the house to see the colorful vapor tracers, Central Florida will also have the chance to see the display, weather permitting.
Look to the east low on the horizon 90 seconds to two minutes after the rocket launches from Wallops Island, Virginia. The tracers may be seen from Maine all the way to Central Florida and as far inland as the Mississippi River.
If weather again scrubs the launch, backup attempts run through May 16.
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