UPDATED: Wallops Flight Facility Launches 3 Sounding Rockets During Solar Eclipse


Final launch of 3 on Eclipse Day from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia/Image courtesy WFF Live Stream

UPDATED – 04/08/24 – 4:45pm – Three sounding rockets were launched from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia this afternoon – during the solar eclipse. One was launched around 2:40pm, the second launch was delayed and lifted off around 3:30 and the final launch was just after 4:30pm. The launches were timed to be during the approach to the eclipse, during and after to study how the Earth’s upper atmosphere is affected when the sunlight dims over part of the planet. Scientists will collect the data they receive from the three launches to learn the effects on the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.


ORIGINAL STORY: 04/07/24 – During Monday afternoon’s solar eclipse, three Black Brant IX sounding rockets will be launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The mission is to study how Earth’s upper atmosphere is affected when sunlight momentarily dims over a portion of the planet – and the launch window opens at 2:40pm. The launches will occur about 45 minutes before – around 2:40pm, during – around 3:20pm and after peak local eclipse around 4:05pm – but are subject to change. At Wallops, totality will be about 81.4% at the peak.

Click here for more information on the launches – they will be live streamed.