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On the morning of September 21, 2012, a two-stage Terrier Mk12-Improved Malemute rocket was launched at 7:17 a.m. from Pad 2 at Wallops Flight Facility’s launch range. This mission, known as RockSat-X, was intended to expand opportunities for university students and instructors beyond what has previously been included in RockOn! missions.

The Range met their objectives to provide reliable and effective telemetry data capture, recording, readout, and relay during pre-launch tests. During the vehicle’s flight, the range provided vehicle tracking via RMMO radar systems, as well as video and photography. RMMO also provided communications, meteorological and weather office support, surveillance of air and sea, and payload recovery services during pre-launch tests, launch operations, and post launch.

RockSat-X is a unique and exciting sounding rocket program at Wallops. It’s designed to give individuals from several different universities around the United States and Puerto Rico the opportunity to fly a payload of their design into the space environment. Students were tasked to create a payload to integrate with the sounding rocket vehicle, including pre-fixed configurations of mechanical, power, instrumentation and flight performance capabilities. The payload had eight high definition cameras attached, one of which was recording the boom deployment from the University of Colorado Boulder’s cubesat drag experiment. There were several Inertial Measurement Units (IMU’s) from Virginia Tech. Additionally, the University of Puerto Rico provided spectrometers, which were active throughout the flight. Baylor University contributed with a dust particle experiment. The RockSat-X mission also served to assist in developing flotation aide technology for the Sounding Rocket Program Office.

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