WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – Two suborbital rockets were successfully launched 15 seconds apart this morning from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility as part of a study of electrical currents in the ionosphere. [image-51]
The launch of the Black Brant V at 10:31:25 a.m. and the Terrier-Improved Orion at 10:31:40 were part of the Daytime Dynamo experiment, a joint project between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.[image-78]
The project is designed to study a global electrical current called the dynamo, which sweeps through the ionosphere. The first rocket carried a payload that collected data on the neutral and charged particles in the ionosphere. The second rocket released a long trail of lithium gas to track how the upper atmospheric wind varies with altitude. These winds are believed to be the drivers of the dynamo currents. [image-94]
The next scheduled launch from Wallops is Terrier-Improved Malemute carrying experiments developed by students in the RockSat-X program. The launch is currently scheduled between 6 and 10 a.m., August 13. [image-110]
For more information regarding this mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sounding-rockets/news/electrical-dynamo.html.
More information on the NASA sounding rocket program and the Daytime Dynamo experiment can be found on the web at: http://www.nasa.gov/soundingrockets