Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment

March 27, 2012 by staff 

Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment, At almost literally the last minute, NASA launched five suborbital sounding rockets early Tuesday on a mission to study high-level jet stream winds by creating artificial glowing clouds near the edge of space.

After several delays, the rockets started blasting off from their pads in Virginia just before the close of the day’s scheduled launch window at 5 a.m. ET. The launches were held up until the very end by concerns about winds as well as boats that had strayed into the restricted range zone. But all the conditions turned “green” just in time for liftoff.

Each of the five unmanned rockets released a chemical tracer into the jet stream winds more than 60 miles up, creating milky white trails in the nighttime sky. Observers along the U.S. East Coast, from Massachusetts to North Carolina, reported seeing the high-altitude streaks at the edge of space, NASA said.

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