WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (Delmarva Now) — A suborbital sounding rocket carrying student experiments from across the U.S. blasted off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Tuesday morning.
The 44-foot tall, two-stage Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket took off at 6:13 a.m. Officials had to briefly delay liftoff after a boat entered the area.
After flying to about 91 miles altitude, the payload, with the experiments, will descend by parachute and is expected to land 15 minutes after launch in the Atlantic Ocean, about 64 miles off the Virginia coast.
The experiments and any stored data will be provided to the students later in the day following sea recovery of the payload.
RockSat-X is the most advanced of NASA’s three-phase sounding rocket programs for students. The RockOn launches are at the entry level, then progress to the intermedia level RockSat-C missions and then RockSat-X.
Participating institutions in this flight are the University of Colorado, Boulder; the University of Puerto Rico; Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; University of Kentucky, Lexington; Capitol Technology University, Laurel, Maryland; University of Maryland, College Park; Temple University, Philadelphia; and the West Virginia Space Flight Design Challenge — a collaboration between The Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, and four colleges in West Virginia — West Virginia University, Morgantown; Marshall University, Huntington; West Virginia State University, Institute; West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon; and NASA’s IV & V Facility in Fairmont.
“We are looking forward to the eighth flight of a RockSat-X payload on a NASA sounding rocket,” said Giovanni Rosanova, chief of the Sounding Rocket Program Office at Wallops.