Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MUSIC Successfully Launches from Wallops

The Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier or MUSIC payload was successfully launched at 9:50 a.m. today on a Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Credit: NASA

The Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier or MUSIC payload was successfully launched at 9:50 a.m. today on a Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The payload flew to approximately 115 miles apogee and preliminary analysis shows good data was received. Payload recovery is in progress.

MUSIC carries several Wallops engineering development projects and experiments from West Virginia University, Morgantown, through the NASA Undergraduate Student Instrument Project.

West Virginia has conducted three flights in 2014 with similar payloads on sounding rockets and balloons in preparation for this mission. The payload will validate ionospheric and upper-atmospheric physic theories and measure space weather activity.

Carsell Milliner, MUSIC mission manager from the Wallops’ Sounding Rockets Program Office, said, “The mission is allowing engineers at Wallops that have not had experience with sounding rockets to gain a familiarity with these suborbital missions. The work being done will result in a standard payload carrier with predefined mechanical, telemetry, power and attitude control capabilities.”

“This may allow us to respond quicker in developing science and technology payloads and these payloads also may be less expensive than developing carrier systems from scratch,” he said.

During the 17-minute flight, NASA tested several technologies including a solid state altimeter box; a self-inflating flotation system for payload water recovery; and gauges to take payload measurements to improve temperature and stress algorithms.

The next launch from Wallops is between 7 and 10 a.m. EST, Monday, March 7. Three space technology payloads will be carried on a Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket.

Credit: NASA

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