NASA rocket launch to create colorful clouds in space

Posted June 30, 2017

After launch, the NASA sounding rocket released artificial clouds that scientists can use to track the movement of Earth's ionosphere.

Early Thursday morning, some may see colorful clouds as a result of a rocket launch by NASA.

A Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket carrying the RockOn/RockSat-C payload was successfully launched at 5:30 a.m. EDT (09:30 GMT) on Thursday, June 22.

People from all over the region were able to enjoy the sight and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility has been posting astonishing shots of the launch and the clouds submitted by fans on its Facebook page.

About 4 to 6 minutes into takeoff, 10 canisters released barium, strontium and cupric oxide, which interacted with each other to form colorful vapor.

'An early Independence Day fireworks display!'

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These vapors were expected to be visible from NY down to North Carolina.

They were released 100 miles above the ground, posing no risk to observers.

'The canisters will deploy between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch blue-green and red vapour forming artificial clouds, ' according to NASA.

'The development of the multi-canister or ampule ejection system will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously allowed when deploying the vapour just from the main payload'.

When all was said and done, the mission was rescheduled numerous times, nearly all of which were due to weather conditions not being optimal. The Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was finally a success after 11 recent unsuccessful attempts.