The goal is to test a new deployment method for the clouds, NASA said.
The launch of the NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, for the vapor release mission is on schedule for Thursday, June 29, with the liftoff time has been refined to 4:25 - 4:48 a.m. EDT, says the U.S. space agency, adding that the backup launch day is June 30.
The space agency has not stood still while waiting for this mission to get underway.
It is anticipated that these clouds or vapor tracers will allow scientists to visually track particle motions in space from the ground.
They will be deployed from canisters, each roughly the size of a soda can, at 96 to 124 miles above the surface.
'The wait is over!' NASA Wallops tweeted.
The rocket took off at 4:25 a.m. and gave the region's residents an early taste of the fireworks in store for July 4. The red and blue-green clouds are expected to be visible from NY to North Carolina and as far west as Charlottesville, Virginia. This particular flight includes a multi-canister ampoule ejection system which enabled the tracers to spread over a wider area than before.
The mission has been delayed several times as a result of clouds, high winds, and other factors that could pose challenges to launch.
After a month of trying, NASA finally launched one of its small sounding rockets from the coast of Virginia, creating a delightful mix of colorful clouds in the upper atmosphere.