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   Undertoad  Wednesday Jan 28 10:27 AM

January 28, 2015: Rockets into the aurora

Out on an Alaskan launchpad they fire rockets into the northern lights. The above shot is a composite of all four launches.

The Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere Turbulence Experiment, or M-TeX, and the Mesospheric Inversion-layer Stratified Turbulence, or MIST, experiment were successfully conducted the morning of Jan. 26, 2015, from the Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska.

The first M-Tex rocket, a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket, was launched at 4:13 a.m. EST and was followed one-minute later by the first MIST experiment payload on a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion. The second M-TeX payload was launched at 4:46 a.m. EST and also was followed one minute later by the second MIST payload.

Preliminary data show that all four payloads worked as planned and the trimethyl aluminum, or TMA, vapor trails were seen at the various land-based observation sites in Alaska.
So if you had an extra pinch of trimethyl aluminum in your breakfast flakes this morning, blame NASA. I'm not sure what it is, but the gent who videotaped it has a better summary:

On January 26th just after midnight the University of Fairbanks, Alaska launched 4 sounding rockets to study the interaction of solar winds and Earth’s atmosphere. Using different gasses they were able to make a glowing cloud of sorts that would allow them to study this interaction with imagery.
It's a long video... the launch happens about about 1:30 in.

blueboy56  Wednesday Jan 28 11:08 AM

Utterly cool. By the way, at what altitudes do the bands appear? Are they low enough to fly through with a small plane (or RPV)?

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jan 28 11:31 AM

Well, we'll put a stop to this climate nonsense, and get NASA back in space where they belong.

While most of the bills and nominations were approved by the committee en bloc, the NASA authorization bill was handeld separately. Four Republican members of the committee—Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Ron Johnson (R-WI)–sought an amendment that would reduce the authorized funding levels in the bill to those compliant with the Budget Control Act, as the House version of the bill does.

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