NASA will test several new suborbital rocket technologies with the launch of a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket between 4 and 5 a.m., June 28, from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The backup launch days are June 29 through July 2.
These technologies will include a deployment system for forming vapor clouds used to track the winds in space for studies of the ionosphere; a miniature deployment actuator for small spacecraft called cubesats; a low-cost attitude solution system; and improvements in telemetry and flight recorders to increase the rates for data collected and transferred during flight.
The sub-payload deployment method being tested on this flight uses small rocket motors like those used in model rockets to eject the sub-payloads from the main payload. During the test, two sub-payloads with mixtures of mainly barium will be deployed from the sounding rocket. In addition to the barium, the two sub-payloads contain small amounts of the natural earth metals lithium and strontium.