Poker Flat set to launch 13 rockets this winter

Thirteen rockets are scheduled for launch from the Poker Flat Research Range this winter, according to a release from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. The largest land-based rocket range in the world, located 30 miles northeast of Fairbanks, is owned by UA and operated by the institute under contract to NASA.

Four rockets are scheduled to be launched in January in rapid succession to measure wind in the upper atmosphere. Three of the rockets will release harmless chemicals to create glowing trails that will be measured by instruments in the fourth rocket. The trails are expected to be visible from the ground in Fairbanks, North Pole, locations north of the Brooks range and as far east as the Canadian border.

Six additional rockets involving experiments to study the aurora will launch during specific weather and auroral conditions.

A student rocket involving collaboration between UAF students and university students in Japan is scheduled to launch in March. The project’s primary goal is the hands-on opportunities for the students in designing, building and launching of sounding rocket payloads.

Poker Flat also is being considered for launch of two guided rockets in April that will be used as part of a federal experiment designed to study rocket dispersion patterns.

01/13/2002 - 8:00pm