Rocket launch from Wallops Island tests new tech

Long exposure of the sounding rocket launch on Wallops Island Aug. 28, 2014. Courtesy Range Optical Systems Group's A. Stancil
Long exposure of the sounding rocket launch on Wallops Island Aug. 28, 2014. Courtesy Range Optical Systems Group's A. Stancil

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) — NASA is reviewing data from a rocket launch that tested a new sub-payload deployment method for suborbital rockets.

NASA says a Black Brant IX suborbital rocket was launched at 5 a.m. Thursday from the agency’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The new deployment method uses small rocket motors to eject sub-payloads from a rocket’s main payload. Thursday’s test included releasing vapor traces in space.

The agency says vapor clouds resulting from the test, along with the launch, were seen as far away as southern New Jersey, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The NASA Sounding Rocket Program Office is reviewing data on the test’s performance.

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