BOSTON (CBS) – NASA will try again Saturday night to finally launch the KiNET-X sounding rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The latest launch attempt Wednesday was postponed to Friday and then Saturday “to provide time for inspection of the rocket after the vehicle came in contact with a launcher support during today’s preparations.”
The next launch opportunity is Saturday at 8:10 p.m.
LAUNCH UPDATE 🚀 The Black Brant XII launch is now scheduled for no earlier than Saturday, May 15, with the window opening at 8:10 p.m. ET. The team continues to inspect the rocket and launcher after the vehicle came in contact with a launcher support during launch preparations. pic.twitter.com/2IMEkZ8wMn
— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) May 13, 2021
The original launch was planned for last Friday, May 7, but it had been moved each night due to the weather, until Wednesday.
The goal of the mission is to study how energy and momentum is transported between regions of space that are connected magnetically.
This study will help scientists better understand things like Auroras and how they are formed and their movement from place to place.
To study this, the rocket will release a barium vapor about 9-10 minutes into the flight, just north of Bermuda at an altitude of over 200 miles. Don’t worry, this vapor is not harmful to the environment or the public. In fact, it isn’t even likely to be visible to the human eye. However, the trailing rocket will be visible to some on the East Coast before the vapor is released.
The current forecast for the Boston area Saturday is partly cloudy, as there could be a few late afternoon sprinkles.