(TNS) A rocket launch will have people seeing a fiery streak in the sky Saturday from north Georgia to southern Maine, according to NASA.
Liftoff is scheduled between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast. Sunset is at 6:05 p.m., suggesting the 59-foot Electron rocket could be launched in the dark.
“From a distance, Electron will appear like a bright, fast-moving star climbing upward through the night sky,” NASA said during the rocket’s first launch earlier this year.
People living more than 600 miles away in eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee may be able to see the rocket soar into space — weather permitting, experts say.
It is predicted the rocket’s 3-degree elevation will create a delayed line of sight, allowing people in eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia to see it up to 3 minutes after its launch.
Rocket launches from Wallops occasionally generate unusual atmospheric effects along the East Coast, including green and violet “spherical clouds.”
The odd colors and strange clouds have been mistaken for UFOs on social media, but they are due to barium vapors released by multistage rockets and typically dissipate quickly, experts say.
NASA says the March 11 mission is part of “a growing low-Earth space economy” that partners NASA with the private companies like Capella Space, “a pioneer in the Earth observation industry.”
The payload is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite that will produce high-resolution satellite imagery, according to launch partner Rocket Lab.
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