NASA Rocket Launch Creates Colorful Clouds Seen Across the East Coast

Jun 29, 2017

NASA deployed a rocket early Thursday morning that created colorful clouds out of vapor in the Earth's upper atmosphere over the East Coast.

Completed at 4:25 a.m. from the Wallops location on Chincoteague Island, Va., NASA successfully launched its Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket — after 11 recent unsuccessful attempts.

The launch tested a new multi-canister ejection system used for deploying vapors, according to NASA. The colorful vapors could be seen from New York to North Carolina.

The blue-green and red artificial clouds, deployed between four and six minutes after take-off, are used to track particle motions in space. The launch tested a new system that helps studies of the ionosphere and aurora.

The total flight took eight minutes.

The original launch date was May 31, but weather and other conditions delayed the launch several times.

Some social media users who caught a glimpse of the colorful display posted photos online.

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