NASA Will Try Launch of Rocket that Could be Visible Over NJ on Wednesday
The fifth time was not the charm for the launch of the Black Brant XII rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and the sixth might not be either.
The launch was scrubbed again on Tuesday night because of cloudy skies in Bermuda and Wallops, according to NASA, along with the upper level winds not being within the required limits for a safe launch. They'll give it another try on Wednesday just after 8 p.m. but WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is not hopeful.
"Rain will be exiting the Virginia coast sometime between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. And if clouds and upper-level winds were an issue on Tuesday, I can't possibly see conditions being better this time around," Zarrow said.
"Whether the rocket goes up Wednesday or Thursday or Friday, New Jerseyans should have a pretty clear view of the southwestern sky. Clear skies and pleasant weather dominate the forecast. Clouds could become an issue if the launch is scrubbed until the weekend or early next week."
NASA said the window of launch is open through Sunday.
What rocket is being launched?
A four-stage Black Brant XII rocket is scheduled to be launched at 8:04 p.m., just after sunset, with a launch window of 40 minutes. The launch was originally scheduled for Friday but was scrubbed on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Where can I see the rocket?
It could be visible over much of the eastern United States.
What you'll see will be the release of barium vapor 9 or 10 minutes into the launch forming two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 10 seconds in far South Jersey, 10-30 seconds in Central Jersey and 30-60 second north of Route 80.
Rocket emissions cause weird colors
Immediately after the vapor is released, spherical clouds will form which are a mixture of green and violet and last about 30 seconds. After exposure to sunlight the vapor clouds quickly ionize and take on a violet color.
The barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health.
Livestream video of rocket launch
Live coverage of the mission will be available on the Wallops IBM video site (beginning at 7:40 p.m.