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NASA Rocket Launch In Va. Rescheduled

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The planned release of gases in the jet stream may be visible up and down the east coast.
The planned release of gases in the jet stream may be visible up and down the east coast.

Bad weather has prompted NASA to reschedule the launch of five rockets from its Wallops Facility in Virginia, according to the Associated Press. The rockets are part of a project to the study how winds move in the upper levels of the jet stream 60-65 miles above the Earth.

The launch has already been postponed several times because of uncooperative weather, and that's what happened again this morning. NASA says the next launch window will come early tomorrow.

Once aloft, the rockets will release a chemical tracer called trimethyl aluminum, designed to form long milky, white clouds that will let scientists see the winds in space and track them with land-based cameras.

But they won't be visible only to scientists. There's been public interest in the launch because NASA says people from South Carolina to southern New Hampshire and as far west as West Virginia may be able to see these clouds once the tracer is released.

"People have launched single rockets before," says Miguel Larsen, a space scientist with Clemson University. "But the key here is that we're extending the range of measurements to many hundreds of miles. The furthest rocket will make it half way to Bermuda."


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