Studying the Edge of Space
NASA successfully launched five suborbital sounding rockets from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper level jet stream. This image was captured on March 27, 2012. The first rocket was launched at 4:58 a.m. EDT and each subsequent rocket was launched 80 seconds apart. Each rocket released a chemical tracer that created milky, white clouds at the edge of space. Tracking the way the clouds move can help scientists understand the movement of the winds some 65 miles up in the sky, which in turn will help create better models of the electromagnetic regions of space that can damage man-made satellites and disrupt communications systems. The launches and clouds were reported to be seen from as far south as Wilmington, N.C.; west to Charlestown, W. Va.; and north to Buffalo, N.Y.
Image Credit: NASA/Wallops