Tag: rocket

NASA Rocket Test Will Streak Red Over East Coast Tonight

By Breanna Draxler | January 29, 2013 2:23 pm

The rocket. Image courtesy of NASA / Wallops Flight Facility

If you live along the Eastern seaboard, keep an eye on the sky tonight. NASA will be launching a rocket sometime between 5:30 and 6:50 p.m. EST from its flight facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

The rocket is a practice run for two upcoming space observation missions. It will be loaded with two different kinds of lithium canisters. Once ignited, the lithium will vaporize and produce two cloud-like trails that will appear red in the sky. Since they are higher in the atmosphere they will be illuminated by the sun, even though it will no longer be visible from ground level. Assuming a clear night, the vapor trails should be visible to the naked eye along the length of the East Coast, from Canada to Florida, for a short time.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology, Top Posts

Let's Destroy Space Junk! By Putting Tons of Metal Dust into Orbit?

By Sophie Bushwick | June 28, 2012 1:01 pm

dust
An illustration of the Naval Research Laboratory’s plan
to knock space junk out of orbit

Here on earth, green enthusiasts tend to judge people for littering, but for 50 years, we’ve had little opposition to cluttering up space. Today, there are hundreds of millions of objects in low-earth orbit, ranging from defunct satellites to trashed lens caps and frozen urine. More than just an aesthetic problem, space junk can crash into satellites and endanger ships passing through on their way to deeper space. Several plans have been proposed to clean up the mess, some requiring advanced materials like aerogels, but the latest suggestion is a bit more cost effective: It just requires a bit of dust.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology
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