Daytime Dynamo Mission Scrubbed July 3; Next Attempt July 4
The launch of two sounding rockets from the Wallops Flight Facility was scrubbed on Wednesday, July 3 due to poor weather in the area. The next attempt for these two rockets will be Thursday, July 4, with a window of 9:30-11:30 a.m.
The two rockets, a Black Brant V and a Terrier-Improved Orion, will launch 15-seconds apart in support of the Daytime Dynamo experiment, which is a joint project between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.
The project is designed to study a global electrical current called the dynamo, which sweeps through the ionosphere. The ionosphere stretches from about 30 to 600 miles above Earth and plays a crucial role in our day-to-day lives. For example, radio waves bounce off it as they travel from sender to receiver, and communications signals from satellites travel through it as well. A disruption in the ionosphere can disrupt these signals.
The first rocket scheduled for launch is a single-stage Black Brant V, which will collect data on the neutral and charged particles it travels through. The second rocket is a two-stage Terrier-Improved Orion. It will shoot out a long trail of lithium gas to track how the upper atmospheric wind varies with altitude. These winds are believed to be the drivers of the dynamo currents.
Since the launch is during the day, the lithium trails will not be highly visible to the naked eye.
The rockets will be visible to residents in the Wallops region. The NASA Visitor Center will open at 8 a.m. on launch day for viewing the launches. The Wallops USTREAM channel will broadcast the launch live beginning at 8:30 a.m. on launch day.
Two Rockets Successfully Launched From Wallops
WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – Two suborbital rockets were successfully launched 15 seconds apart this morning from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility as part of a study of electrical currents in the ionosphere.
The launch of the Black Brant V at 10:31:25 a.m. and the Terrier-Improved Orion at 10:31:40 were part of the Daytime Dynamo experiment, a joint project between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.
The project is designed to study a global electrical current called the dynamo, which sweeps through the ionosphere. The first rocket carried a payload that collected data on the neutral and charged particles in the ionosphere. The second rocket released a long trail of lithium gas to track how the upper atmospheric wind varies with altitude. These winds are believed to be the drivers of the dynamo currents.
The next scheduled launch from Wallops is Terrier-Improved Malemute carrying experiments developed by students in the RockSat-X program. The launch is currently scheduled between 6 and 10 a.m., August 13.