Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Four space launches planned in the next 24 hours

If all goes according to plan four space rockets will launch from three different countries between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Thursday Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

First, a Japanese H-2A rocket will launch at 8:17 p.m. EDT Wednesday carrying the Michibiki-2 navigation satellite, part of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System. The launch will take place at the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island, Japan.

Second, a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket will launch at 4:27 a.m. EDT Thursday and release ten canisters into space about the size of a soft drink can. The canisters will produce blue-green and red vapor clouds visible in the sky. These clouds, or vapor tracers, allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space. The launch will take place at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.

Third, a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle will launch at 5:55 p.m. EDT Thursday carrying a Dragon cargo ship for the International Space Station. The launch will take place at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Fourth, a European Ariane 5 rocket will launch at 7:45 p.m. EDT Thursday carrying the ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat 172B communications satellites. The launch will take place at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana, South America.

Keep an eye on the DCNewsroom Live Video Events page to watch these launches.

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