- Canisters deployed after launch will form artificial, luminescent clouds
- NASA scientists want to study the movement of particles in the ionosphere
The Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket
is expected to create a light show of blue-green and red clouds visible on much of the East Coast, from New York to North Carolina. The launch window will last from 4:25 a.m. to 4:48 a.m. ET.
The rocket's launch has been delayed several times since May 31, with the last attempt, on June 24, foiled by extensive cloud cover. Previous attempts were scrubbed for various reasons, from strong winds and clouds to boats in the potential payload landing area.
The rocket is set to launch from Wallops Flight Facility
on Virginia's eastern shore. Thursday morning's forecast looks mostly clear for the launch area, but some clouds are forecast just to the north, which could obscure viewing of the colored clouds in the region near New York.
NASA will need clear skies at one of its two viewing locations on the ground: the launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia, and in Duck, North Carolina.