Wallops Island, Va. – The final rocket launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in 2015 has been pushed back again, this time until January. The facility posted this update on the launch:
The launch scheduled Dec. 12 of the Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket carrying the Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier (MUSIC) from Wallops has been postponed to no earlier than January 2016. During testing this morning with the rocket on the launch rail, the team discovered an issue with the payload that necessitates it to be taken off the rail. Thus, the launch has been postponed while the payload team investigates the issue.
The launch should be visible from southern Delaware to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay .
We will stream the launch live on this page when it happens.
The rocket will carry the Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier (MUSIC).
MUSIC will carry several Wallops engineering development projects and experiments from West Virginia University, Morgantown, through the NASA Undergraduate Student Instrument Project.
West Virginia has conducted three flights in 2014 with similar payloads on sounding rockets and balloons in preparation for this mission. The payload will validate ionospheric and upper-atmospheric physic theories and measure space weather activity.
“The mission is allowing engineers at Wallops that have not had experience with sounding rockets to gain a familiarity with these suborbital missions. The work being done will result in a standard payload carrier with predefined mechanical, telemetry, power and attitude control capabilities,” said Carsell Milliner, MUSIC mission manager from the Wallops’ Sounding Rockets Program Office.
“This may allow us to respond quicker in developing science and technology payloads and these payloads also may be less expensive than developing carrier systems from scratch.”
During the 17-minute flight, NASA will test several technologies including a solid state altimeter box, a self-inflating flotation system for payload water recovery, and gauges to take payload measurements to improve temperature and stress algorithms.
In addition, the Diminutive Assembly for Nanosatellite deploYables (DANY) is being tested.
DANY is designed to unlatch a stowed device, such as a solar panel, on a small spacecraft such as a Cubesat. Measuring nearly three-inches long, a quarter-inch wide and quarter-inch thick, DANY will release a hinged piece of aluminum simulating a solar panel.
The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will be open at 8:30 a.m. for viewing the launch.