A Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital rocket carrying experiments developed by university students nationwide in the RockSat-X program was successfully launched at 6 a.m. EDT August 13 from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The RockSat-X program is conducted with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The goal of the program is to provide students a hands-on experience in developing experiments for space flight. This experience allows these students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a real world hands-on activity.
RockSat-X was lofted to an altitude of approximately 94 miles above the Atlantic Ocean before landing via parachute about 90 miles from the Wallops Flight Facility. Recovery of the payload is in progress.
The students in the program will receive their experiments later in the day to see how they performed and begin data analysis. Additionally, several experiments transmitted data during the flight down to Wallops via a telemetry system on board the rocket.
The next rocket launch from Wallops is an U.S. Air Force Minotaur V carrying NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) at 11:27 p.m. EDT, Sept. 6. The backup launch days will be Sept. 7 – 10. LADEE is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, surface conditions and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as Mercury, outer planet moons and larger asteroids.
For information about NASA’s LADEE mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ladee
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