WASHINGTON DC: NASA has successfully launched a sounding rocket that created colourful artificial clouds visible in the US skies.
The NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was successfully launched yesterday, from the US space agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, after being delayed multiple times over the last 30 days.
During the 8-minute flight, 10 canisters about the size of a soft drink can were ejected in space, 9 to 19 kilometres away from the 300-kg main payload.
The canisters deployed blue-green and red vapour that formed artificial clouds visible from New York to North Carolina.
Video Courtesy: NASA
During an ionosphere or aurora science mission, these clouds, or vapour tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.
The development of the multi-canister ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously possible when deploying the tracers just from the main payload.