WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Two rockets releasing chemical clouds for a long-delayed science experiment were launched early today on the Virginia shore, creating a colorful display in the sky along much of the East Coast.
"It was really spectacular here at Wallops," said Joyce Milliner, a spokeswoman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Wallops Flight Facility, where the rockets were launched 16 minutes apart starting at 3:40 a.m.
Canisters carried by the rockets exploded 260 miles above Earth, creating shimmering, colorful clouds reported seen from Syracuse, N.Y., to the Carolinas.
The experiment was designed to simulate conditions during the formation of the solar system.
The launch originally was scheduled last Wednesday. The initial delay came when the payload was not ready. After that, rough seas in the recovery area for the rockets and cloudy skies in the observation ranges forced more postponements.