Sounding rocket launching from Kwajalein Island.


FORTIS payload sequence testing during integration at Wallops. FORTIS payload sequence testing at Wallops.

36.352 UG McCandliss/Johns Hopkins October 27, 2019
Far-Ultraviolet Off Rowland-circle Telescope for Imaging and Spectroscopy

36.352 UG Terrier-Black Brant was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on October 27, 2019. FORTIS is a multi-object spectro/telescope equipped with a next-generation microshutter array (NGMSA) capable of imaging individual stars within NGMSA slitlets while simultaneously obtaining their far-UV spectra. The primary science goal for this mission was to study massive hot star clusters in the star-forming Galaxy M33.

SubTEC 8 launch. SubTEC 8 launch. Credit: Wallops Imaging Lab.

46.020 GT Hesh/NASA WFF - October 24, 2019
SubTEC 8

46.020 GT Terrier-Improved Malemute was launched from Wallops Island, VA on October 24, 2019. The SubTEC 8 mission tested several new technologies under development by the Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO). The main purpose for the mission was to test deployable su-payloads with telemtery transmitters to enable distributed measurements during science flights.

36.353 G Nuth/NASA GSFC - October 7, 2019
Determining Unknown yet Significant Traits (DUST)

36.343 G Terrier-Black Brant was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on October 7, 2019. The purpose of the Determining Unknown yet Significant Traits (DUST) experiment was to measure important variables in the end-to-end process of grain formation in circumstellar outflows around AGB stars and model the physical and chemical properties of the dust. The scientific goal was to determine the most important physical properties controlling dust production and measure the infrared spectrum of the analog dust grains during formation and agglomeration in the laboratory and in microgravity. The DUST instrumentation included four double wavelength interferometers and two in-situ IR spectrometers.

36.320 US Kankelborg/Montana State University - September 30, 2019
EUV Snapshot Imaging Spectrograph (ESIS)

36.320 US Terrier-Black Brant was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on September 30, 2019. Every few seconds, a small (approximately Earth sized) explosion occurs somewhere on the solar disk. These transition region explosive events are an example of magnetic reconnection, the same mechanism that is responsible for the much larger release of energy in solar flares. The purpose of the EUV Snapshot Imaging Spectrograph (ESIS) mission was to observe these events in enough detail to characterize the triggering of and release of magnetic energy.

36.340 DR Launch 36.340 DR Abbett launch.Credit: Wallops Imaging Lab.

36.340 DR Abbett - September 18, 2019

36.340 DR Terrier-Black Brant was launched from Wallops Island, VA on September 18, 2019. This launch was conducted for the Department of Defense.

RockSat-X student group. RockSat-X students on Wallops Island.

46.022 UO Koehler/Colorado Space Grant - August 12, 2019

46.022 UO Terrier-Improved Malemute was launched from Wallops Island, VA on August 12, 2019. The RockSat-X mission carried student developed experiments and is a follow on mission to RockOn and RockSat-C. RockSat-X experiments are more advanced than RockOn and RockSat-C and include full featured sounding rocket support systems, such as telemetry, attitude control and recovery. RockSat-X experiments are exposed to the space environment enabling measurement of variables outside the payload.

36. UG France/University of Colorado - August 11, 2019
Suborbital Imaging Spectrograph for Transition region Irradiance from Nearby Exoplanet host stars (SISTINE)

36.346 UG Terrier-Black Brant was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on August 11, 2019. SISTINE is designed to enable studies of the ultraviolet radiation environment around low-mass stars and the effects of that UV on potential exoplanet atmospheres. For this mission, SISTINE aimed to study how the outer envelope of stars is dispersed back into the interstellar medium by observing the science target NGC 6828, a planetary nebula.

RockOn! launch. RockOn! launches. Credit:Chris Perry/NASA

41.126 UO Koehler/Colorado Space Grant - June 20, 2019

41.126 UO Terrier-Improved Orion was launched from Wallops Island, VA on June 20, 2019. The RockOn workshop is an introductory flight opportunity for college students and faculty and provides exposure to space based science missions. Students construct experiments during the week long workshop at Wallops, and attend the launch on Wallops Island. The payload is recovered and the experiments returned to the students.

TooWINDY launch. TooWINDY launches. Credit:C. Lanier/NASA

36.344 & 36.345 UE Hysell/Cornell University - June 19, 2019
Waves and Instabilities from a Neutral Dynamo-2 (TooWINDY)

36.344 and 36.345 UE Black Brant IX were launched from Roi Namur, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands on June 19, 2019.The TooWINDY payloads investigated the stability of the post sunset equatorial F region ionosphere and the factors that predispose it to equatorial spread F (ESF), a spectacular phenomenon characterized by broadband plasma turbulence which degrades radio and radar signals at low magnetic latitudes.

CLASP team with rocket. CLASP-2 team. Credit: U.S. Army/Louis Rosales

36.332 NS McKenzie/NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - April 11, 2019
Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro Polarimeter (CLASP)-2

36.332 NS Black Brant IX was launched from White Sands Missile Range, NM on April 11, 2019. The aim of CLASP-2 was the detection of linear polarization (Hanle effect) of the Mg II h & k lines from the solar chromosphere, due to scattering and magnetic effects, and the detection of the circular polarization due to magnetic effects. The Hanle effect (i.e. the magnetic field induced modification of the linear polarization due to scattering processes in spectral lines) is believed to be a powerful tool for measuring the magnetic field in the upper chromosphere.

AZURE launch. AZURE launches from Norway. Credit: Lee Wingfield/NASA

51.001 & 51.002 UE Larsen/Clemson University - April 5, 2019
Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment (AZURE)

51.001 and 51.002 UE Black Brant XI-A were launched from Andoya Space Center, Norway on April 5, 2019. The AZURE mission was designed to make measurements of the atmospheric density and temperature with instruments on the rockets and deploying visible gas tracers. The vapors were released over the Norwegian Sea at 71 through 150 miles altitude.

RockSat-XN launch. RockSat-XN launches from Norway. Credit: Chris Perry/NASA

46.018 UO Koehler/Colorado Space Grant - January 13, 2019

46.018 UO Terrier-Improved Malemute was launched from Andoya Space Center, Norway on January 13, 2019. This was the ninth flight of the RockSat-X mission architecture.This particular mission featured international participation by students from Norway, Japan, and the United States, including Puerto Rico. RockSat-X student experiments are developed with an objective of providing students with an enhanced experience of flying experiments exposed to the space environment. The students gain experience in the design, build, test and sub-orbital space-flight of their experiments during the mission lifecycle.

CAPER-2 launch. CAPER-2 launches from Norway. Credit: Chris Perry/NASA

52.005 UE Labelle/Dartmouth College - January 4, 2019
Cusp Alfven and Plasma Electrodynamics Rocket (CAPER) 2

52.005 UE, Black Brant XII-A sounding rocket was launched from Andoya Space Center, Norway on January 4, 2019. This mission studied Alfven wave acceleration in the cusp by using the same key instruments that were used on complementary missions that studied night-side aurora.

DEUCE team with rocket at White Sands. DEUCE team with rocket at White Sands. Credit: White Sands Missile Range

36.331 UG Green/University of Colorado - December 18, 2018
Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Spectrograph (DEUCE)

36.331 UG, Terrier-Black Brant sounding rocket was launched from White Sands Missile Range on December 18, 2018. The Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Spectrograph (DEUCE) payload observed one of the only two non-white-dwarf stars in the Milky Way known to have a sufficiently low neutral hydrogen column density to measure their ionizing radiation directly: Beta Canis Major (βCMa) and Epsilon Canis Major (εCMa). The target for this mission will be εCMa.

TRICE 2 launch from Andoya Space Center. Composite image of two TR"ICE-2 launches. Credit:Jamie Adkins/NASA

52.003 & 52.004 UE Kletzing/University of Iowa - December 8, 2018
Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics II

The purpose of the Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics II (TRICE-2) missions was to measure cusp signatures of reconnection occurring at the magnetopause during steady IMF Bz southward conditions. This was accomplished by launching two nearly identical instrumented payloads, flying at low and high altitudes, with a variety of separations in time and space.

VISIONS 2 launch from Svalbard. Composite image of two VISIONS-2 launches. Credit:Allison Stancil-Ervin/NASA

35.039 & 35.040 GE Rowland/NASA GSFC - December 7, 2018
VISualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral atom Sensing-2

The purpose of the VISualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral atom Sensing-2 (VISIONS-2) missions was to study the nature and extent of low altitude ion outflow (>10 eV) from the cusp. The investigation aims to determine the spatial and temporal variations of ion outflow; the total energetic ion outflow in the remotely sensed volume; and how regions of enhanced ion outflow compare in detail to the locations of field aligned currents, optical auroral emissions, enhanced electric fields, energetic particle precipitation, wave activity, and regions of enhanced/depressed electron density.

Grand Challenge CUSP Initiative logo.

Grand Challenge - CUSP Initiative Sounding Rocket Campaign is underway in Norway

The Grand Challenge Initiative - Cusp is an international collaboration to explore the polar cusp—where Earth’s magnetic field lines bend down to meet the poles and particles from space can enter our atmosphere.