By BROCK VERGAKIS
Skywatchers along the East Coast may be able to see a NASA experiment that will launch a series of rockets to learn more about the little-understood jet stream winds that circle the Earth at the edge of space.
On a clear night between March 14 and April 4, NASA plans to launch five rockets in five minutes from its Wallops Island facility in coastal Virginia.
Each rocket will release a chemical leaving a long, milky-white cloud to track the winds that scientists will monitor from cameras on the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey.
The clouds should be visible to the human eye for about 20 minutes from roughly Myrtle Beach, S.C. to southern New Hampshire, and as far west as Morgantown, W.Va.
“People will be able to see it. They can also photograph it pretty easily,” said Miguel Larsen, a Clemson University professor who is the mission’s principal investigator.
The possible viewing area covers major cities like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, although it depends on ground lighting, cloud cover and the rockets’ trajectories. Those in a smaller area from New York City to the Outer Banks in North Carolina might be able to see the rockets’ glowing exhaust trails. NASA plans to post pictures and video taken by bystanders on its social media sites.
read more at www.washingtontimes.com
- NASA to launch 5 rockets quickly to track winds (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- NASA jet stream study will light up the night sky (eurekalert.org)
- NASA Rocket Barrage to Study Winds at Edge of Space (space.com)
Chinese hackers gained control over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) in November, which could have allowed them delete sensitive files, add user accounts to mission-critical systems, upload hacking tools, and more — all at a central repository of U.S. space technology, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Inspector General.
That report revealed scant details of an ongoing investigation into the incident against the Pasadena, Calif., lab, noting only that cyberattacks against the JPL involved Chinese-based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general, put his conclusions bluntly.
“The attackers had full functional control over these networks,” he wrote.
JPL is a jewel in NASA’s space technology crown.
Beyond a wealth of exploration programs, such as the recent GRAIL mission to study the moon and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory, JPL manages the Deep Space Network, a network of antenna complexes on several continents that monitors both outer space and planet Earth.
Martin released written testimony about the attacks in the report “NASA Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Agency’s Information Security,” presented to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee investigations panel on Wednesday. It details a host of security lapses and breaches of protocol at the space agency.
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