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NASA | Lighting the Sky: NASA's ATREX Mission Launches

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Published on Mar 27, 2012

NASA successfully launched five suborbital sounding rockets this morning
from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper
level jet stream. The first rocket was launched at 4:58 a.m. EDT and each
subsequent rocket was launched 80 seconds apart. Each rocket released a
chemical tracer that created milky, white clouds at the edge of space.
Tracking the way the clouds move can help scientists understand the movement
of the winds some 65 miles up in the sky, which in turn will help create
better models of the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage
man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The launches and
clouds were reported to be seen from as far south as Wilmington, N.C.; west
to Charlestown, W. Va.; and north to Buffalo, N.Y.

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