Alaska-Launched NASA Rockets to Investigate Space X-Ray Emissions, Polar Mesospheric Clouds

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NASA is slated to launch four rockets from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska between Jan. 15 to 30 to study space x-ray emissions and the formation of Polar Mesospheric Clouds.

The space agency said Wednesday a mission called the Diffuse X-rays from the Local galaxy will be deployed aboard a Black Brant IX rocket to investigate sources of X-rays that reach Earth from other areas in the galaxy.

Massimiliano Galeazzi, DXL principal investigator from the University of Miami, said that DXL aims to provide a better understanding of the nature and characteristics of two known sources of space X-rays.

NASA will also fly three Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital rockets for the Super Soaker mission, which will explore the formation and dynamics of Polar Mesospheric Clouds.

“PMCs are layers of microscopic ice particles that form near 53 miles altitude and are extremely sensitive to small variations in their environment.” said Irfan Azeem, Super Soaker principal investigator from technology development firm Atmospheric and Space Technology Research Associates.

Azeem added that PMCs are used to help quantify changes in the upper atmosphere due to their sensitivity to environmental variations.

The three rockets will release vapor into the upper atmosphere in an attempt to measure the effects of short-term changes and other atmospheric factors on PMCs.

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