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NASA’s Triple Rocket Launch for APEP Mission During Solar Eclipse

Published on April 10, 2024
Current Context: NASA launched three sounding rockets as part of the Atmospheric Perturbations around Eclipse Path (APEP) mission during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
NASA’s Triple Rocket Launch for APEP Mission During Solar Eclipse
  • The mission aimed to study how Earth’s upper atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere, is affected when sunlight momentarily dims over a portion of the planet due to a solar eclipse.
  • The APEP sounding rockets were launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
  • These rockets had been previously launched and successfully recovered from White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, during the October 2023 annular solar eclipse.
  • They were refurbished with new instrumentation for the April 2024 launch.
  • The mission was led by Aroh Barjatya, a professor of engineering physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
  • The rockets were launched at three different times: 45 minutes before, during, and 45 minutes after the peak local eclipse.
  • These intervals were important to collect data on how the Sun’s sudden disappearance affects the ionosphere, creating disturbances that have the potential to interfere with our communications.
  • The ionosphere is a region of Earth’s atmosphere that is between 55 to 310 miles (90 to 500 kilometers) above the ground.

Question:

Q.1 Who led the Atmospheric Perturbations around Eclipse Path (APEP) mission?
a. Elon Musk
b. Jeff Bezos
c. Richard Branson
d. Aroh Barjatya
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