NASA has postponed its plans to manufacture red and blue-green artificial clouds, much to the relief of conspiracy theorists everywhere. The clouds were supposed to be visible for the East Coast, and would have left many residents perplexed as to what was happening in the environment.
The launch window for the experiment was from May 31 to June 6, but weather forecasts showed that the conditions would not be ideal for the next two days, Gizmodo reports. The new launch date has been tentatively set for June 11, as the launch requires very specific weather conditions.
When the project does launch, a two-stage Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket will carry ten canisters, which will be deployed five minutes after achieving liftoff. The canisters will create brightly colored artificial clouds or vapor tracers, which NASA scientists will use. The hope is to track particle motions to get further insights into the workings of the ionosphere.
NASA has ground cameras at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and in Duck, North Carolina. For the experiment to work, one of those locations must have clear skies in order for researchers to gather data properly. However, cloud cover disrupted the tests, resulting in postponement.
The space agency has made it clear that this experiment will not harm humans, and poses no danger. The canisters are to be released around 100 miles off the ground, and contain barium, strontium and cupric-oxide. But NASA does have to exercise caution, as the Saturday launch was canceled due to the presence of boats in the area where the payload was supposed to land.
Those who are interested to view the launch, it’s set for 4:00 A.M. on June 11. People on the East Coast “from New York to North Carolina” will be able to spot the colorful clouds, NASA says. For those elsewhere, there is a livestream available for viewing.