WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – Two Terrier-Lynx suborbital rockets are scheduled for launch between August 12 and September 24 for the Department of Defense from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The rockets will be launched on separate days. The second rocket is expected to be launched about two weeks after the first rocket. The launch windows are (all times are EDT):
11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. August 12/13
10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. August 16/17
9:00 – 11:00 p.m. August 23
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. August 27
5:30 – 7:30 a.m. September 20
4:00 – 6:00 a.m. September 24
The rockets may be visible to residents in the mid-Atlantic region.
At the request of DoD project managers, no real-time launch status updates will be available. The launches will not be shown live on the Internet nor will launch status updates be provided on social media once the countdown begins. The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will not be open for viewing the launches.
Smartphone users can download the “What’s Up at Wallops” app, which contains information on the launches as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing.
A Black Brant IX suborbital rocket launched this morning from Wallops:
A NASA Black Brant IX suborbital rocket was successfully launched at 5:00:30 a.m. today. The mission was a test of a new sub-payload deployment method for suborbital rockets. The mission included the release of vapor tracers in space. Data on the performance of the deployment test is being reviewed by the NASA Sounding Rocket Program Office.
The launch and the resultant vapor clouds were seen from as far away as western Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, West Virginia and Myrtle Beach.
The next launch currently scheduled from the Wallops Flight Facility is a Terrier-Lynx suborbital rocket for the Department of Defense between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m., September 20.
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.—NASA will test a new sub-payload deployment method for suborbital rocket missions with the launch of a Black Brant IX sounding rocket between 5 and 6 a.m., Aug. 28, from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The backup launch days are Aug. 29 and Sept. 2 through 8.
The sub-payload deployment method being tested on this flight uses small rocket motors like those used in model rockets to eject the sub-payloads from the main payload. During the demonstration two sub-payloads with mixtures of mainly barium, and small amounts of the natural earth metals lithium and strontium, and two sub-payloads with only lithium will be deployed from the sounding rocket.
By burning the metals rapidly, they vaporize to form clouds or trails that are used as tracers that will help to measure the wind in the transition region between the Earth’s atmosphere and space. The vapor releases occur at approximately 9 to 10 minutes after vehicle lift-off between 124 and 217 miles above the Earth.
The byproducts from burning these metals do not pose a risk to health or the environment given their release in space. The amount of barium, strontium and lithium used in the test is much smaller than that used in a typical municipal 4th of July fireworks display, for example. The colors in these displays are the result of rapidly burning small amounts of these earth metals. For instance, barium generally produces a blue-green clouds while strontium and lithium produce blues and reds.
The vaporized clouds may be seen by residents in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States from Maine to the North/South Carolina border and west to Pittsburgh; Clarksburg, West Virginia; and Greensboro, North Carolina.
The payload is expected to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean about 208 miles from Wallops Island and will not be recovered.
Black Brant IX sounding rocket.
Image Credit: NASA Wallops
Wallops range supports DOD mission
A Terrier-Lynx suborbital rocket was successfully launched for the Department of Defense Saturday, Aug.23, at 9:13 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
The next launch scheduled from Wallops is a NASA Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket for a technology demonstration between 5 and 6 a.m., Thursday, August, 28. (NASA/Jamie Adkins)