UPDATE 6/28 5:30 p.m. ET: NASA has announced the next launch attempt to be Thursday, June 29 sometime between 4:25 and 4:48 a.m. EDT. The backup launch day is June 30.
A Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket will launch into the night sky from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, and release brilliant red and blue-green clouds of vapor visible along the East Coast. The rocket will launch to test a canister deployment system designed to eject ampoules containing gas that can create glowing artificial clouds in the night sky. Clear weather is vital for mission scientists in order to record the cloud deployment using ground-based cameras at the launch site and in Duck, North Carolina.
If you live near the Wallops Island area in Virginia and would like to watch the sounding rocket launch in person, visit NASA's Wallops Flight Facility Visitors Center. Because the launch is weather dependent, local spectactors and online viewers can recieve the latest updates from NASA via the Wallops center Facebook and Twitter sites.
Editor's note: If you capture an amazing image of the sounding rocket launch or the colorful artificial clouds that you would like to share with Space.com and its news partners for a story or photo gallery, send photos and comments to: email@example.com.
"NASA has two ground stations — at Wallops and Duck, N.C. — to view blue-green and red artificial clouds that will be produced as part of the test. Clear skies are required at one of the two ground stations for this test.
"The multi-canister ampoule ejection system flying on this mission will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously able. Canisters will deploy between 4 and 5.5 minutes after launch releasing blue-green and red vapor to form artificial clouds. These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space.
"The clouds may be visible along the mid-Atlantic coastline from New York to North Carolina.