Saturday, March 17, 2012

By the Rockets' Red Glare: NASA to Launch 5 Rockets from VIRGINIA?

Update: NASA has delayed the launch until Wednesday evening: (March 21)

NASA has announced plans to go ahead with a scheduled launch of five unmanned rockets into space on Sunday evening, after a four day delay. The launches will be conducted at the Wallops Flight Facility, located on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The salvo of five rockets will be launched high into the atmosphere in quick succession, and the launches will be visible over a large area. The rockets will release chemical tracers at about 60 miles up into Earth's atmosphere, allowing NASA scientists to track  high-altitude winds that can top 300 mph.

The missiles' tracers will create luminous, milk-white clouds in the upper-atmosphere, which could be visible to sky watchers from South Carolina all the way up to parts of New England. Why NASA has decided to launch the missiles from Virginia, a location not noted for its missile launches, remains to be seen. News of the launch comes after reports of an anomalous change in earth's magnetic wind, coming from the opposite location than normal, began breaking on the Internet, leaving many to speculate about the existence of an approaching extra-solar system object.

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