This morning, NASA launched the five suborbital sounding rockets from Virginia as part of ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment). Each rocket was launched 80 seconds apart and released chemical tracers that created "milky, white clouds at the edge of space." Now, I've seen plenty of bullet tracers in my life, but these are far more poetic. Take a look at the time-lapse video and see for yourself.
Why shoot these tracer rockets? To help scientists "better understand the process responsible for the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth," and to make models of the electromagnetic regions of space that could possibly damage man-made satellites and disrupt our communications systems. You can find out more at NASA's ATREX mission page.
Here's some more photos and video of the launch footage.
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