NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is scheduled to launch two sounding rockets carrying student developed experiments for RockSat-X and RockOn/RockSat-C missions on Wednesday Aug. 16.
The launch window for the missions is 6-10 a.m. EDT. The Wallops Visitor Center’s launch viewing area will open at 5 a.m. for launch viewing. Coverage of the mission will begin 15 minutes before the first launch on the Wallops YouTube channel. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites. The Wallops Visitor Center will open its gates at 5 a.m. on Wednesday for launch viewing.
The Terrier-Improved Orion and Terrier-Improved Malemute rockets will launch 5 minutes apart and are expected to reach an altitude of about 70 miles (113 kilometers) before descending by parachute into the Atlantic Ocean to be recovered. Backup launch days are Aug. 16 through 18. The launches may be visible in the Chesapeake Bay region.
The rockets will be carrying experiments developed by more than 30 university and community college teams as part of NASA’s RockOn Workshop and RockSat programs. Fifty percent of the RockOn teams are from minority serving institutions.
“The RockOn/RockSat programs provide unique hands-on experiences for students in the development of scientific experiments and working in teams, so these students are ready to enter STEM careers,” said Dr. Joyce Winterton, Wallops senior advisor for education and leadership development.
In addition to the higher education experiments, 80 experiments will take flight as part of the Cubes in Space program, which partners with Wallops to provide a platform for students aged 11 to 18 to develop and conduct research and science that connects to real-world Earth or space-based problems or needs. The RockOn/RockSat-C mission was previously scheduled to launch in June 2023, but was delayed due to weather.