Typically, when NASA is planning on launching something it goes off without a hitch. Sometimes storms, wind, or other unforeseeable circumstances push the launch window back a few hours, or maybe a day or two, but things almost always get back on track fairly quickly. That most certainly hasn’t been the cast with the agency’s plan to launch a cloud-building rocket on the East Coast, having been over and over again for over a month due to imperfect conditions and other issues. Well, NASA finally got the clear skies they were looking for and managed to successfully send its craft skyward, creating some seriously funky looking clouds that were visible from New York to North Carolina.
The launch, saw the deployment of several canisters that produced colorful clouds in the early morning sky, was performed so that scientists could more accurately study particle motion than they’ve ever been able to before. The rocket was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility located in Virginia, and reached an altitude of roughly 118 miles and flew for just eight minutes while it ejected its fancy cloud canisters.
The brightly-colored clouds were relatively small in size, but they were still incredibly eye-catching, with over 2,000 reports from individuals along the coast. They quickly began to dissipate, but remained visible as off-color patches in the sky for some time afterwards. The clouds were also reportedly visible inland throughout Virginia and Pennsylvania. NASA says the whole thing went off without a hitch, which is fantastic news considering how long the mission had been delayed.