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NASA Facts Coqui Dos

NASA Facts Coqui Dos

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 13, 2011
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National Aeronautics andSpace AdministrationGoddard Space Flight CenterWallops Flight FacilityWallops Island, Virginia 23337
Coqui Dos
Coqui Dos will be conducted from Tortuguero near Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.The temporary rocket range is the same site used for the El Coqui Campaign(above) and other NASA launches conducted in the late 1960s.
: A continuation of a 1992 study, Coqui Dos is using 11 suborbital rockets to examine atmosphericturbulence, composition and electrical properties. Such information will ultimately help the reliability of radio and satellite communications.
: February 12 - April 9, 1998
:Camp Tortuguero Recreation Area;near Vega Baja, Puerto Rico
:$1 MILLION (Estimated)
:NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterNASA Wallops Flight FacilityNational Science FoundationNational Astronomy and Ionosphere CenterArecibo ObservatoryUniversity of Puerto Rico at MayaguezClemson UniversityCornell UniversityUniversity of Texas at DallasUtah State UniversityUniversity of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignAerospace Corporation
The 1998 campaign is very similar to that conductedduring the highly successful El Coqui Campaign in 1992from Tortuguero. The 11 rocket launches should be visiblefrom most of Puerto Rico, especially along the northerncoast and San Juan.NASA selected Puerto Rico due to a combination of factors, including the fact that the latitude is ideal forthese measurements and the unique opportunity tocoordinate these launches with operations of the AreciboIonospheric Radar Facilities. The Arecibo Radar facilitiesare an essential part of the scientific mission and areunmatched anywhere else in the world. The launch site isthe same as that used for El Coqui in 1992 and for otherNASA launches conducted in the late 1960s.During the Coqui Dos Campaign, a total of 11 launcheswill be carried out during the nighttime hours whenionospheric instabilities are present in the high altituderegion above Puerto Rico. Nine launches are restricted todays when the moon is below the horizon. Two launches
will be conducted during nighttime hours without moon-down restrictions.Some of these rockets have payloads containing smallamounts of the chemical Trimethylaluminum (TMA),which will be released into the ionosphere. TMA burnsslowly and produces visible light so that the chemicaltracers can be tracked visually and with camera equipment.The products of the reaction are aluminum oxide, carbondioxide, and water. These chemical systems pose no threatto the public during preparation on the ground or duringthe release in space. Three payloads are chemical only,two payloads are chemical and instrumented, and sixpayloads contain instrumentation only.When TMA is released it forms an artificial cloud in theionosphere. These milky-white artificial clouds shouldbe visible within several hundred miles of the launch site,across most of Puerto Rico and perhaps on some of theneighboring islands. The clouds should take approximatelyfour to five minutes to form and may be visible for up to20 minutes.

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