After numerous delays, NASA’s Wallops rocket launch finally took place early Thursday morning, June 29, at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. And with no last-minute hitches relating to weather and other variables, people from select parts of the United States were able to get a glimpse of the colorful “light show” produced when the space agency’s Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket launched.
According to a press release from NASA, the flight took a total of eight minutes, and saw 10 soft drink can-sized canisters launched into space, approximately six to 12 miles away from the sounding rocket’s main payload. The canisters spewed out blue-green and red vapor clouds that were visible in multiple Eastern states, including New York and North Carolina. And while the flashy light show did make for quite a sight, NASA explained that the colorful clouds are actually vapor tracers that allow ground-based scientists to track particle motions as they take place in space.
NASA’s Wallops facility was quite busy after the rocket launch, receiving close to 2,000 reports and images of the clouds, as seen by skygazers as far north as New York and as far south as North Carolina. Residents of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other states in between were also able to report light show sightings on Thursday morning.
What you see below are some tweets of the NASA Wallops rocket launch’s light show from Thursday morning, as skygazers finally saw their patience rewarded following the myriad, oftentimes 11th-hour delays.
The wait is over! The Terrier-Improved Malemute launched this morning, June 29, at 4:25 a.m. An early Independence Day fireworks display!! pic.twitter.com/Y5x6Oz2hu8
— NASA Wallops (@NASA_Wallops) June 29, 2017
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) June 29, 2017
— Christopher Becke (@BeckePhysics) June 29, 2017
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the NASA Wallops rocket launch was postponed numerous times over the past month or so, and while weather was usually the culprit behind the postponements, there was one instance where boats in the second stage impact area had forced the space agency to hold off on its plans a little longer. As weeks passed, the weather continued to be the main reason holding back the rocket launch; as cloudy skies would make it harder for scientists to see the colorful clouds and make their observations, that had forced NASA into repeated postponements, until Thursday’s successful launch finally ended the long wait.
More photos of the NASA Wallops rocket launch and the stunning, colorful sights it produced are available at the Wallops Flight Facility’s official Facebook page.
[Featured Image by Steve Helber/AP Images]