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NASA Science Technology

NASA Rocket Barrage Will Light Up Mid-Atlantic Coast 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-in-a-good-way dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA will this week detail a mission where it will launch five rockets in five minutes from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia that will light up the night sky for millions of folks in a swath between New York City and about Wilmington, NC. The five rocket blasts, which could occur between March 14 and April 4, are part of what the space agency calls the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX), a Heliophysics sounding rocket mission that aims to gather data needed to better understand the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth, NASA said." NASA will be hosting a teleconference at 1PM EST on Wednesday to discuss the mission. They also have brief PDF descriptions of the rockets involved: Terrier-Improved Orion, Terrier Oriole, and Terrier Malemute.
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NASA Rocket Barrage Will Light Up Mid-Atlantic Coast

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  • by mrxak (727974) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @04:44AM (#39272807)

    Barrage is not really the word one uses for rockets going up, but for rockets coming back down again with destructive force. A bombardment. An attack. This is all just cover for the final phase of the secret military space weapon [slashdot.org]. Oh yes, it will light up the sky.

    • by stjobe (78285) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @06:47AM (#39273311) Homepage

      These rockets will come down (see the graphic in the two first links in the summary), so barrage isn't as mal placé as you think.

    • What drugs are you on? If you had RTFA, you would have seen that the missles all have an impact of under 500 miles at most. Wallops is on the eastern shore of Virginia, so unless the launchers are turned 180 degrees, I don't think they're going to hit anything.
    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      Don't worry, you are protected by your tinfoil hat.
  • Wouldn't it be funny ... if they all accidentally landed on Iran's nuclear sites.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Plainly they will spray chemtrails along with the markers for HAARP target on their way to Iran to start WW3 so that the Federal Reserve can, at the request of the Rothschilds, have a glowing sky to celebrate the birthday of oh... Elvis's alien baby.

  • None of the article say when it's going to happen. They only say, "could occur between March 14 and April 4". Eh.... Not quite specific enough to be useful.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      This is just one of those "we're planning to send some stuff up but we're going to pretend this is a ridiculously expensive publicity stunt 'in plain sight' operations."

      It's kind of like how Saudi Arabia announces "We're taking our airspace monitoring stuff down for maintenance but don't fly through our airspace! That wouldn't be nice at all!" followed closely by some military operation which happens to unfairly take advantage of their lowered guard.

      Of course, none of these things ever happen... it's all

      • by geekoid (135745)

        So how would you do tests?

        Conspiracies happen*, but you kind of need proof of you allegations.

        *see Tobacco companies.

    • by TrAvELAr (118445)

      There are lot of factors here, most of which resolve around the weather. The FAA has given consent for this to happen between midnight and 4am for those dates. Outside of those hours will be too disruptive to air traffic.

    • by pease1 (134187)
      Because they won't know until about a day before if the science conditions are right. This is the window they are working within, likely with FAA approval, scheduling of their other activities and use of the east coast tracking range system in relation to activities at the Cape. Factors down to the hour will include surface conditions and boats out in the water. Join the Wallops Twitter feed to get updates. I've never been able to see a terrier launch from the DC area. Just too far away.
      • The boats are either not let out, or told to get away. Unless it is the US Navy all other boats are not an issue. You could also go to Ocean City MD to get a great view of this. It is only like 30-40 minutes north of the Wallops. You may miss the rocket taking off from the ground, but you should still be able to see it in the air.

  • I'm certain that there is some sort of scientific value to this.

    Of course, demonstrating to the Chinese that we can rapidly launch a barrage of orbit-capable warheads, er, payloads isn't a bad thing either.

    • Re:Research? Sure. (Score:5, Informative)

      by stjobe (78285) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @07:59AM (#39273751) Homepage

      These are sounding rockets.

      The Orion is a single stage sounding rocket which will achieve an altitude of 60 km with a 250 lb payload or 90 km with a 75 lb payload.
      The Terrier-Malemute is a two-stage, solid fuel rocket consisting of a Terrier 1st stage and a Malemute 2nd stage. It is capable of lifting a 200 lb payload to an apogee of approximately 700 km or a 500 lb payload to approximately 400 km.
      The The Terrier-Improved Orion consists of a Terrier 1st stage and an "improved" Orion second stage. This vehicle is capable of achieving an altitude of 75 km with an 800 lb payload and 225 km with a 200 lb payload.
      (source: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/mpl/srockets.html [nasa.gov])

      To be compared to the LGM-30G Minuteman-III which is a three-stage, solid fuel rocket capable of lifting an approximately 600 lbs warhead to over 1100 km. We have 450 of these more or less ready to launch.
      (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-30G_Minuteman-III [wikipedia.org] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W87 [wikipedia.org])

      In short, the Chinese already know we have "the capability of rapidly launching a barrage of orbit-capable warheads", and either way, these rockets aren't demonstrating anything of the sort.

  • Ha! They're competing with Apple's product release. Are they trying to be ignored?
  • Just launch one and photoshop the others in.

  • Alien Tourist Rocket Extravaganza

    I'm on to you NASA.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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