NASA Conducts Sounding Rocket Launch for Energy Transport Study in Space

25th May 2021
Black Brant XII

On 16th May, NASA carried out a successful Black Brant XII rocket launch from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This mission, aimed at exploring energy transport in space, has been postponed several times since 8th May. Fortunately, the agency made it to the final launch window this season.

NASA Black Brant XII Rocket Launch Mission

NASA Black Brant XII rocket launch is part of the KiNet-X mission, aimed to study the transportation of energy and momentum between magnetically connected areas of space.

To achieve this, Black Brant XII reached 217-249 mile altitude above the Atlantic and released barium vapor. The release happened north of Bermuda, around 10 minutes after lift-off.

The vapor poses no danger to the environment and, once released, formed two green clouds that were only visible for around 30 seconds. In its previous studies, NASA used violet vapor, but this time, the agency switched to green because this color is more visible in the darkness.

Making the Final Launch Window

The latest NASA rocket launch mission was postponed several times due to bad weather conditions. Originally set for 8th May, the launch did not occur until this Sunday. Fortunately for NASA, the weather was favourable this time, and the launcher did not need any additional inspections.

If NASA had to postpone the launch once again, it would miss the final launch window because, after 16th May, the moon would already be too high (and too bright) in the sky. That would make the vapours difficult to trace, which would call for a full timeframe reschedule.

According to NASA, this rocket launch was a beautiful show, and the entire team is happy the agency managed to make use of the final launch opportunity this season.

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