NASA Wallops Inside the Gate 8 June 2011

Status Report From: Wallops Flight Facility
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011

image P-3 Completes Historic Mission, Prepares for Another

NASA 426 returned on May 19 from a historic and extraordinarily successful 67 day Arctic campaign as part of Operation Ice Bridge. Totaling 40 science missions and over 325 flight hours, this mission was the longest, most extensive, P-3 mission deployment in the history of GSFC/WFF flight operations. The P-3 aircraft is in two weeks of maintenance to prepare for the DISCOVER-AQ mission upload beginning this week.

"We certainly have an excellent research platform with the P-3 with a suite of cutting edge science instruments. But it is not the P-3 or the instruments that make the success of the campaign. It is the skill and dedication of the people who run the P-3 and operate the science instruments. I am extremely grateful for the excellent support and hard work of the P-3 aircrew, the Wallops Aircraft Office, and the IceBridge instrument teams, who have all made it possible to set a new record for an IceBridge deployment." - Michael Studinger, Project Scientist Operation IceBridge, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology JCET/UMBC, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Balloons Set Flight From Sweden

The NASA Balloon Program and Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility is launching through July 10 three science balloon instruments from Sweden's Esrange facility, located near Kiruna, Sweden. Two science instruments from the University of Delaware and one instrument from the National Center for Atmospheric Research High Altitude Observatory will be launched from Esrange and will fly west from Sweden, to then be recovered in north Canada four to six days following launch. Each mission will fly between 35 kilometers and 42 kilometers altitude (115,000 feet and 140,000 feet).

The Low Energy Electrons (LEE) instrument from University of Delaware, Dr. John Clem, Principle Investigator, was launched May 27 and landed in Canada after 4 days and 15 hours of flight. The Anti-Electron Sub-Orbital Payload (AESOP) instrument from University of Delaware, Dr. John Clem, Principle Investigator, and the High altitude Interferometer for Wind (HiWind) instrument from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Dr. Qian Wun, Principle Investigator, remain to be flown.

Upcoming Launches from Wallops

Below is the current launch schedule for this summer from Wallops Island. Check the Wallops Launch Status Line at x2050 for updates as they become available.

June 9 - 11 -- 7 - 10 a.m. -- Terrier-Improved Orion
June 23 - 25 -- 6 - 9 a.m. -- Terrier Improved Orion
June 27 - July 10 Evening -- Minotaur/ORS-1
July 5 - 23 -- Day -- 2 Terrier-Improved Orions/2 Black Brant Vs
July 21 - 23 -- Day -- Terrier-Improved Orion
August 3 - 5 -- Day -- Terrier-Improved Malemute


The month of May brought eight days of measurable precipitation to Wallops, totaling only 1.31 inches. This falls nearly two inches below our average monthly rainfall of 3.11 inches, and makes it the fourth consecutive month with below average precipitation. So far this year, Wallops is 5.34 inches below our average precipitation. May began with temperatures running near average. However, the end of May heated up in a big way with daytime highs running 10 to 15 degrees above normal. This helped bring our monthly average temperature to 67.2 degrees, which is about 4.5 degrees above normal. Although we had 3 days with temperatures above 90 degrees, we did not break any records during the month of May. High pressure held strong over the east coast throughout much of the month, with only a few weak fronts passing through the region. As a result, winds were not particularly strong, with only five days seeing winds gust over 30 mph. Our highest wind occurred on May 19, with a gust of 35 mph.

The next Inside the Gate will be June 22.

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