A chance to see a NASA rocket launch from the Valley if weather cooperates

Weather Specials

It will be a close call whether or not enough breaks are present for good visibility of the launch in our area

Pinpoint Futurecast shows some holes in the cloud coverage in our area around launch time.

(WYTV) – We will have a chance to see a rocket launch into space this Saturday evening.

The rocket will launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia close to sunset on Saturday.

Our ability to see the rocket will depend on clouds clearing enough across the area. While some holes in the cloud coverage are expected Saturday evening, it will be a close call whether or not enough breaks are present for good visibility.

If we do clear enough, look to the east/southeast around 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. The launch is scheduled for no earlier than 8:02 p.m. with a roughly 40-minute launch window.

It may create a fast light show across a large portion of the eastern United States.

The rocket is a four-stage Black Brant XII sounding rocket and its mission is to explore energy transport in space.

A four-stage Black Brant XII sounding rocket. Credit: NASA

According to NASA, “a four-stage Black Brant XII rocket will be used for the mission that includes the release of barium vapor that will form two green-violet clouds that may be visible for about 30 seconds. The barium vapor is not harmful to the environment or public health.”

If clouds don’t limit viewing in our area, we will have a roughly 30-60 second window to view the launch from the Valley.

Area where the launch would be visible under perfect viewing conditions.

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