Author Topic: NASA mission to study Earth’s atmosphere by forming artificial night-time clouds over Marshall Islan  (Read 191 times)

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Lake County News by Keith Koehler 6/2/2019

A NASA rocket mission to study disturbances in the upper atmosphere, which interfere with communication and technology systems, will form night-time white artificial clouds visible by residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands during two rocket flights to occur between June 9 and 21.

This the second flight of the Waves and Instabilities from a Neutral Dynamo, or WINDY, mission. The mission this time is referred to as Too-WINDY -- it’s catchier than WINDY 2.

Too-WINDY will study a phenomenon that occurs in the ionosphere – a layer of charged particles in the upper atmosphere. Known as equatorial spread F, or ESF, these disturbances occur after sunset at latitudes near the equator in part of the ionosphere known as the F region. The disturbances can interfere with radio communication, navigation and imaging systems and pose a hazard to technology and society that depends on it.

The Too-WINDY mission consists of two NASA suborbital sounding rockets that will be launched five minutes apart in a window between 8 p.m. and 3.a.m. local time (4 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT) June 9 to 21 from Roi-Namur. The Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is near the magnetic equator, where post-sunset ionosphere storms are more intense, making the site an ideal location for these studies.

The first rocket launched, a two-stage 47-foot long Black Brant IX rocket, will carry and release both tri-methyl aluminum (TMA) and lithium. The release of the lithium vapors is not visible to the naked-eye but can be viewed with the special cameras.


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