suborbital: February 2012 Archives

Scientists Launch NASA Rocket into Aurora, University of New Hampshire

"Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling in the Alfven resonator (MICA) mission sent a 40-foot Terrier-Black Brant rocket arcing through aurora 186 miles above Earth. The rocket sent a stream of real-time data back before landing some 200 miles downrange shortly after the launch."

Rocket Launched into Northern Lights To Illuminate GPS Effects, Cornell University

"A NASA-funded collaborative research team led by Steven Powell, Cornell senior engineer in electrical and computer engineering, launched a sounding rocket from Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:41 p.m. Alaska Standard Time (Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 at 12:41 a.m. EST) to collect data straight from the heart of the aurora."

Keith's 20 Feb note: While these two universities are obviously excited about this launch, NASA certainy isn't. All that was announced by Poker Flat (on their webpage only) was a long launch window. No press release, media advisory before or after the launch. Nothing whatsoever from NASA or any of its field centers either. According to the Poker Flat website "Poker Flat Research Range is the world's only scientific rocket launching facility owned by a university. Poker Flat is located approximately 30 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska and is operated by the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute under contract to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which is part of the Goddard Space Flight Center."

Ah, that should explain the situation: Wallops is apparently mentoring Poker Flats on PR. Not a good sign since NASA Wallops PAO is barely capable of even the most rudimentary launch event public awareness itself.

Keith's 21 Feb update: CNN just spent 30 seconds showing this pretty picture. Too bad NASA doesn't seem to think enough to post it.

Keith's 22 Feb update: NASA is still ignoring this NASA rocket launch. Very odd.

Boing Boing: "Chris sez, "My name is Chris Peterson. I run web communications for MIT Admissions and have been a loyal BB reader for years. For the last several years we have been sending our admitted students their acceptance letters in cardboard tubes. First because we sent a poster, but now it's its own thing. 2012 is the anniversary of an old MIT balloon hack, so we put a letter in all of the Early Action admit tubes telling them we wanted them to hack the tubes somehow. Lots of them are great, but this one, from Erin King (MIT '16) in Georgia, is the best."

YouTube direct link

Keith's note: I sent my old NASA badge to the summit of Mt. Everest [image], so ... I totally understand.



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