"It was a terrific aurora, the rocket worked great, the instruments worked great and the supporting radar (at Poker Flat) worked wonderfully," said Steve Powell of Cornell University, the principal investigator for the launch. "We achieved all of our objectives. We're ecstatic over the results and our graduate students can't wait to sink their teeth into the data."
After monitoring satellites earlier Saturday that showed an abundance of charged particles coming from the sun and streaming toward Earth's magnetic field, members of the rocket team, which included University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers and personnel from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, were prepared for a night of vigorous aurora. With clear skies at Poker Flat and also at the villages of Fort Yukon and Venetie, where they had narrow-field cameras aimed toward the sky, the scientists opened their launch window at 8 p.m. They watched the aurora dance directly overhead at Poker Flat, waited until the aurora was perfect over Fort Yukon and then launched the two-stage rocket.
In the 10 minutes, 25 seconds it took for the rocket to arc to a high point 200 miles above Venetie to the payload's landing in northern Alaska, a complicated array of antennas deployed, and the rocket both gathered and then transmitted an immense amount of information back to Poker Flat.
"We got a CD of data in our pockets the same night," Powell said. Graduate students at Cornell University, the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College and the University of Oslo will use the data as part of their doctoral studies. Their goal is to better model Earth's upper atmosphere and discover more about how space weather affects satellite communications we use every day.
The launch is the first and final one from Poker Flat Research Range this spring. Technicians from the range are today searching for the two rocket motors used to propel the mission. A few days after its launch, Powell was at Poker Flat marveling how the launch went.
"So many things have to come together to have a mission success, and we had them all Saturday night."
Poker Flat Research Range is the largest land-based sounding rocket range in the world and is located 30 miles north of Fairbanks on the Steese Highway. The UAF Geophysical Institute operates the range under contract to NASA. More than 300 major scientific sounding rockets have launched from the facility since it was founded in 1969.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Steve Powell, Cornell University, 607-227-8421. Poker Flat Research Range: 907-455-2110.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo of the launch in available for download at www.uafnews.com.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Steve Powell, Cornell University, 607-227-8421. Poker Flat Research Range: 907-455-2110. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ned Rozell | EurekAlert!
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences