NASA has successfully launched a Black Brant XII-sounding rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Sunday.
The launch window opened at 8:04 p.m. and the rocket launched at 8:36 p.m.
The rocket launched as a feature of NASA’s KiNet-X mission, which is intended to concentrate how energy and momentum are transported between various regions of space that are magnetically connected.
At around 10 minutes into the launch, the Black Brant XII released a barium vapor at an altitude of around 217-249 miles over the Atlantic Ocean and 540-560 miles downrange from Wallops and only north of Bermuda.
The vapor, which isn’t unsafe to the environment, formed two green-violet clouds that were noticeable across the East Coast for around 30 seconds. As indicated by NASA, the human eye doesn’t see violet colors very well in darkness, making the KiNET-X clouds more hard to see for the casual observer than past vapor missions launched from Wallops.
The mission was previously set for May 8 however had been repeatedly delayed because of troublesome weather conditions. NASA additionally needed to review the launcher vehicle and supplant the rocket’s third stage motor.
NASA warned before Sunday that the mission would be the last attempt for its launch time span.
“The moon will begin to be too high above the horizon at sunset, so it will be too bright to be able to see vapor tracers in the sky,” NASA Wallops tweeted. “If we don’t launch, we will evaluate another launch time for later in the year.”
NASA called the launch a “beautiful show,” adding that a superior story couldn’t be composed.
“Like a season finale, although it wasn’t a cliff hanger,” NASA’s commentator noted. “This time it was a successful ending.”