18 March, 2002
I headed out to Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) today with Dr. Martin Jeffries, TEA Shannon Graham, and Interpreter Lynette Reep. It was my first visit since last March and it was a pleasure to arrive back at the lake study sites on such a calm, clear, mild day. Although the morning temperatures were well below zero, we were peeling off layers by 11 AM. We worked quickly (despite the great weather) because a rocket launch had been scheduled for late morning!
PFRR http://www.pfrr.Alaska.edu happens to be the only rocket-launching facility in the world that is owned by a university. The facility is currently under contract to NASA for the launching of sounding rockets - those that collect some sort of data. Today’s launch was the result of a partnership between U.S. and Japanese engineering students. The rocket was small in comparison to those posted on the records list at PFFR. According to that, the largest rocket ever launched there weighed an amazing 11 tons. The greatest apogee (altitude) reached by a rocket at PFRR was over 1,000 miles.
We were quite lucky (and pleased) to be present at today’s launch. There are no public viewing areas on the grounds and most launches have huge windows of time (3 weeks to several months) during which the rocket may actually go up. This was, in fact, the first rocket launch that Martin had ever had the opportunity to witness!
_________________________________________________________________ Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com
Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.