Saturday May 15 2021
This may finally be the day we get to see the rocket launch and upper atmosphere experiment NASA has been waiting for. It has been over 1 week of weather and technical delays. Today the weather looks good, as we will see below. As of this afternoon, the launch is a GO!
If the rest holds out, then we may get the sky show in the eastern US.
Planned Launch Time at 8:10 PM, but there is a 40 minute window.
Here you can see the weather conditions, forecast and also the Live Video Stream of the NASA Broadcast. That should begin at 7:40 PM.
Satellite Loop: Saturday Afternoon 4 PM to 6 PM
The coast was mostly clear. Inland clouds build up with the afternoon heat, should diminish as the sun gets low again toward sunset.
Launch Forecast Cloud Cover
Upper Level Wind Forecast —> slider
This is the lightest at all levels it has looked in over one week.
- 850mb =5,000 FT
- 700mb = 10,000 FT
- 500mb = 18,000 FT
- 300mb = 30,000 FT
Weather At Wallops Island Flight Facility
This map shows the surface winds and should let you display the weather conditions.
Tap the (v) for more details
Launch visible shorty after lift off.
Face East/Southeast: To the ‘right’ of where the sun has been rising recently.
If the sky is clear, then you may see a light streak within 1 minute across much of our region as presented in this map.
The high altitude light show will begin 9 minutes later.
This rocket is designed to created an artificial aurora high in the atmosphere to test high altitude conditions. Basically for us it will be a display of bright lights more than 200 miles above the ground.
This was postponed each day since Friday due to weather. Winds need to be light enough, along with clear skies for cameras in Wallops Island and Bermuda to observe the artificial aurora. When this occurs, the eastern US should have a chance to watch the rocket and the high altitude sky show.
Live Stream: NASA-TV Wallops
Live Coverage begins at 7:40 PM. There is a delay that can range from 20 seconds to up to 1 minute.
Vapor Tracers: What You May See
About 9 minutes after launch, the payload of vape tracers will be released,
217 to 249 miles above the ground of Bermuda.
This is made up of the dame material in fireworks.
Barium Vapor: This will form two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 30 seconds.
Scientists use vapor tracers primarily to study atmospheric winds in upper atmosphere and ionosphere. When released after launch, the tracers make it possible to directly observe the winds.
If this does NOT occur tonight, they have more opportunities in the days ahead. We would want a clear sky for much of the Mid Atlantic (and East Coast) for more to be able to view this.
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