By Linda Cicoira
More than 70 experiments contributed by university students across the U.S. will be blasted in the air on a NASA rocket scheduled for liftoff at 8 a.m., Friday , June 25, from the Wallops Flight Facility.
The Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket is expected to be seen as far as southern Delaware. Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 7:40 a.m. on the Wallops YouTube site. Launch updates will also be available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites. The Wallops NASA Visitor Center will not be open for launch viewing.
“Typically, students from across the country descend upon Wallops days before launch to learn about rocketry and building experiments for spaceflight through the week-long RockOn! workshop,” said Chris Koehler, director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. “This year to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19, the workshop was conducted virtually.”
This year there are 102 participants. Colorado Space Grant sent the participants the materials needed to participate in the workshop and build their experiments. The participants then shipped them to Colorado for checkout and integration. A team from Colorado delivered the experiments to Wallops.
The 36-foot long two-stage rocket will carry 32 experiments (measuring acceleration, humidity, pressure, temperature and radiation counts) from the RockOn! Program, eight experiments in the RockSat-C program, and more than 60 small cubes with experiments developed by middle school and high school students as part of the Cubes in Space program.
The sounding rocket will fly the student experiments to nearly 73-miles altitude. The experiments will land via parachute in the Atlantic Ocean where they will be recovered by boat.