"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!
Astronomers release most complete ultraviolet-light survey of nearby galaxies
18.05.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
A quantum entanglement between two physically separated ultra-cold atomic clouds
17.05.2018 | University of the Basque Country
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology