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NASA postpones five-rocket launch spectacular

Technical hitch scrubs ATREX blast off till Friday

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

NASA scrubbed its attempts to paint the sky cloudy last night due to an internal radio frequency interference issue with one of the rockets.

The space agency was due to launch five rockets in five minutes as part of a study of the jet stream at the edge of space, a mission dubbed the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX).

The next attempt to get the rockets blasting off won't be made until Friday at the earliest while the boffins fix the problem – and then will only take place if the weather is clear.

The five rockets will leave a chemical tracer trail in the atmosphere between 53 and 84 miles (85 to 135km) above the Earth so that cameras, researchers and the general public can "see" the behaviour of the wind as the milky-white clouds go with the flow for around 20 minutes.

In order for everyone to get a good view, the skies at the three strategically placed camera points need to be clear. ®

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