Poker Flat Research Launches Successful Aurora Rocket

February 08, 2013|By KTUU News Staff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It was a successful blast off at the Poker Flat Research range earlier this week.

The mission called "VISIONS” (Visualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral atom imaging during a Substorm) set out to gather information on how the aurora heats and slingshots oxygen out of the upper atmosphere.

On February 6th, the skies were cloudy and the aurora wasn't out, but things quickly changed downrange at Kaktovik.

Scientists say the rocket performed well and the on-board instruments executed their jobs as planned.

Successful launch from Poker Flat Research Range

by Amy Hartley, GI Information Officer, Thu Feb 7, 2013

NASA Rocket Launch Studies Northern Lights (Photos)

by Staff

Date: 07 February 2013 Time: 09:40 AM ET

View online photo gallery here:

NASA Prepares To Launch Rocket Into The Heart Of The Northern Lights

''The VISIONS mission will give scientists an inside look at how the optical phenomenon influences Earth's atmosphere.''

By Emily Elert Posted 02.07.2013 at 8:55 am EST

NASA scientists in Poker Flats, Alaska, have been waiting since Saturday for the right weather conditions to launch a sounding rocket into the green aurora-lit skies, where it will fly to an altitude of 500 miles and capture data and imagery from within and above the northern lights.

NASA Successfully Launches Rocket to Study 'Northern Lights'

Rocket will help researchers understand the phenomena behind auroras


February 7, 2013

Swirls of green and red appear in an aurora over Whitehorse, Yukon, on the night of Sep. 3, 2012. NASA's VISIONS sounding rocket will study what makes the aurora and how it affects Earth’s atmosphere.

Thursday, NASA successfully launched a rocket designed to help researchers understand auroras, commonly known as the "Northern Lights."


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