Transcripts of 10922_ATREX_H264_Good_1280x720_29

Bell Tone Bell Tone (Music) Narrator: The jet stream may be the best known high altitude air current, but it is not the only one. Measurements from the last sixty years and observations of the movement of space shuttle exhaust, indicate that there is a region between 62 and 68 miles up that experiences wind speeds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. At that altitude--right on the official boundary of space--it is extremely hard to measure the wind, because the atmosphere is so thin. It is also high enough that only powerful rockets are capable of reaching it. The ATREX, or Anomalous Transport Rocket EXperiment, mission is launching to study this ultra-high altitude wind over the eastern seaboard of the U.S. It will consist of five rockets, launched within minutes of each other from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. As each rocket rises above fifty miles it will release a chemical tracer into the upper atmosphere, dispersed over a horizontal range that extends approximately 340 miles east, southeast from Wallops. The tracer is trimethylaluminium, which glows when it reacts with oxygen. The products of this reaction are aluminium oxide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor all of which are found in the atmosphere. Cameras positioned in North Carolina and New Jersey will watch for the glowing trails, which will reveal the wind's direction and speed. Understanding the patterns and causes of this wind will help NASA and private corporations with future high altitude/low orbit missions. It is possible to have five rockets for one mission because ATREX is using sounding rockets. Sounding rockets are small powerful rockets that usually carry a payload up and then back down to Earth. They can't carry much weight but this makes them far less expensive and a good way to make observations at the edge of space. Music Beeping Beeping